Study from home

Kompas – July 15, 2020

Teacher: Today we are going to learn about all kinds of basic foods!

While online learning has become the new norm during the pandemic, many students have not been able to participate because of the country’s digital divide or because they do not even have electricity.

With uneven access to technology and inadequate online teaching methods, concern is growing that remote learning could worsen inequalities in education.

A survey launched recently by the SMERU Research Institute showed that while teachers in major cities in Java had proper facilities to teach their students online, teachers in villages, especially outside Java, have had to visit students’ homes to give and collect homework because of a lack of access to the internet and digital devices.

A 2018 Indonesian Internet Providers Association (APJII) survey found that although 64.8 percent of the Indonesian population was connected to the internet, these numbers were centralised in Java.

For those in areas without internet access – or because it is unreliable or too costly – video and conference calls require a considerable amount of cellular data which low-income families simply cannot afford.

A survey conducted by the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) in April involving 1,700 students and 602 teachers in 54 cities and regencies found that 42 percent of students could not afford internet packages, making it difficult for them to make video calls with their teachers.