Tuesday, November 24

Teacher takes students, parents on two-hour jungle trek for internet in Lubok Antu

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Sambau (seated, right) with some of the students and their family members pose for a picture after reaching their destination. – Photo courtesy of Sambau Dugat

KUCHING (Nov 18): A teacher has recently taken the initiative to lead a group of primary and secondary students from his village in Nanga Sumpa and nearby Nanga Jambu in Lubok Antu on a jungle trek just for good internet coverage.

The one-way journey from the village to where they could finally hook up to the internet alone was about two hours and 30 minutes.

The teacher, Sambau Dugat, who is teaching at SMK Lubok Antu, said he organised the trip on Sunday after seeing students from his village making the journey on their own very often recently.

The group crossing a makeshift bridge on the way to their internet access. – Photo via Facebook/Nanga Sumpa,Lubok Antu,Sarawak

“Internet coverage is a major issue in my area as the village where I am from does not have good internet facilities at the moment. Students from my village need it to help them in their studies.

“In this modern era, the internet is very crucial for students which is why they need to find places with good internet coverage, which in the case for the students from my area is very far away from home,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post today.

Sambau said there were 14 primary school pupils and eight secondary school students on the trip after Sunday morning prayers.

He said they had to walk for about 45 minutes through the jungle, and another hour and 45 minutes uphill to where they could finally access the internet.

A man carries two girls across a stream on the journey that took more than two hours one way. – Photo via Facebook/Nanga Sumpa,Lubok Antu,Sarawak

“It is not easy for us but we have to do it because there are no proper roads leading to our destination. We had to walk through a dense jungle and cross many streams just to get there,” he said.

Most of the students on the trip were also accompanied by their parents. As they had to walk for long hours, everyone involved would bring food and other necessities besides their laptops and devices.

Sambau said it was the first time he had organised the trip and he felt it necessary because he saw that students in his village were left behind in their studies.

“The Movement Control Order currently enforced in the country has not made it easier for us too. We could not really travel much to leave our village for the purpose of getting good internet coverage in other areas,” he said, referring to the Covid-19 government restrictions.

The children take out their homework after arriving at a spot on a hill with good internet coverage. – Photo courtesy of Sambau Dugat

Asked if he will organise another trip soon, Sambau he was not certain as it was not an easy journey.

Sambau’s trip with the students from his village was recently posted on social media, and it had received a lot of attention from netizens.

Nanga Sumpa and Nanga Jambu are Iban villages located in the interior of Lubok Antu and are accessible by boats.