UGM Students of Community Empowerment Program Field Practice (KKN PPM UGM) performed a reptile animals introduction program to elementary school students in SD 02 Barongan, Imogiri, Jetis, Bantul, Saturday (8/5). The introduction was made in collaboration with reptiles lovers community, Reptiles Club Jogja. Several species of reptiles were introduced, among others, several types of snakes, lizards, iguanas, and turtles.
Hundreds of elementary school students seemed enthusiastic and many female students were hysterical seeing a python in size of an adult calf carried into the courtyard of their school. Not only snakes, there were also iguanas and lizards. Soon, one at a time the reptiles were introduced to the students. The students were asked to look more closely and allowed to touch each animal. Students who were initially afraid of the animals, eventually some of them seemed to dare to touch the snake under the close watch of the reptile lovers.
Student coordinatorÂ ofÂ the Bantul Unit of the program, Rusito, said the objective of introducing the reptiles for the students is to increase their knowledgeÂ in order to be able to distinguish which reptiles are dangerous and which one can be domesticated. In addition, the introduction of reptile animals at an early age aims to foster a sense of protection and love of animals. "We want students to knowÂ these reptilesÂ more closely. Some pythons are intentionally introduced to the students, so they will know that the animal is usually used to catch rats in farmers’ fields. So, they won’t feel that this animal is strange," he said.
SD Barongan 02 Principal Drs. Supriyadi, welcomed the introduction program to his students. According to Supriyadi, such activities are quite useful for students who mostly live in the areas of the Opak River. "Most of our students live around the Opak River. The possibility of finding animals reptiles is immense. This introduction makes them informed whether the animal is dangerous or not," said Supriyadi.
In addition to the introduction of reptile animals, said Supriyadi, KKN PPM UGM students have also provided training and teaching programs for students, including dance, batik, and the introduction of the Internet.