It should come to no surprise that due to the coronavirus has spread rapidly across the country have taken swift action to mitigate the development of a full-blown pandemic, including an education system around the world.
Since the virus started a couple of months ago, it already has changed how students are educated around the world, including Indonesia. Those changes give a glimpse at how education could change for the better and the worse in the long term.
In last March, there have been multiple announcements suspending attendance at schools and universities. It is not only in Jakarta, but also in other cities, such as Solo, Yogyakarta, Semarang, and many more.
These decisions have led students into temporary ‘home-schooling’ situations. These changes have certainly caused inconvenience, as not many schools have good facilitation to provide the School From Home situations. However, they have also prompted new examples of educational innovation.
Although it is too early to judge how the reaction to COVID-19 will affect education systems in Indonesia, there are signs suggesting that it could have an effect on the direction of learning innovation and digitization.
The Outbreak Could Lead To Surprising Innovation in Education System
The slow pace of change in academic institutions is lamentable, with centuries-old, lecture-based approaches to teaching, the rooted institutional biases, and outmoded classrooms. However, the COVID-19 situations have pushed the education systems to search for innovative solutions in a relatively short period of time.
Furthermore, according to local news, since the schools and universities closure, Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud) Nadiem Anwar Makarim very supports and appreciates proactive steps and prepares all the scenarios, including the application of working together for online learning (in networks for students).
Mendikbud develops a distance learning application on Android and also on the website, it is called Rumah Belajar. The sites can be accessed at https://belajar.kemdikbud.go.id/
Some great features that can be accessed by students and teachers during this School-From-Home are the Learning Resources, Digital Classes, Virtual Laboratories, and exam practice module. Rumah Belajar can be utilized by students and teachers of Early Childhood Education (PAUD), Elementary Schools (SD), Junior High Schools (SMP), Senior High Schools / Vocational Schools (SMA / SMK) or equivalent.
The Supports From Technology Companies
The Minister of Education and Culture also appreciated the support of some companies of educational technology in helping students to continue learning at their homes. They hope it will be a solution as the Local Government’s policy temporarily stops learning activities in schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The online learning is now carried out by the various companies. Some of them that focus on developing online education systems are Google Indonesia, Smart Class, Microsoft, Quipper, Ruangguru, Sekolahmu, and Zenius.
Supporting the statement of Mendikbud, several partners expressed their willingness to contribute to implementing an online learning system. Each platform will provide facilities that are publicly accessible and free.
- Google Indonesia
With the situation, Google is enabling students and teachers in Indonesia to continue learning at home through G Suite for Education. It is a collaborative learning tool between teachers and students available free of charge from Google.
Schools can use Hangouts Meet, a video conferencing tool for G Suite users, and also Google Classroom, it is to attend classes and continue distance learning from home.
Until July 1, 2020, Google provided the most complete Hangouts Meet and free of charge which includes live streaming up to 100.000 viewers in a domain and large gathering up to 250 participants per class, which can be recorded and stored on Google Drive for being accessed later.
- Kelas Pintar
Founder of Kelas Pintar, Fernando Uffie, supports the action of Mendikbud to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by applying the School From Home policy. Fernando said that the temporary suspension of teaching and learning activities in schools does not necessarily make the learning process stalled.
The students can keep learning online, while teachers can continue providing assistance in the learning process. Parents also can monitor their children’s learning progress. These can be done with technology-based education, such as Kelas Pintar.
To support the policy, Kelas Pintar offers free of charge for teachers and students all over in Indonesia to use online learning. In hope, the learning process between students and teachers can continue whenever and wherever.
- Microsoft Indonesia
Benny Kusuma, Education Lead PT. Microsoft Indonesia explained, it provides Office 365 access for education. To use this facility, schools only need to provide an institutional domain as a digital identity of teachers and students.
With the feature of Teams in Office 365, the teaching and learning process can still take place digitally and the teachers can meet face to face with students through video conference when needed. Teachers also can send text, sound and video-based teaching materials through Team Class to their students. Likewise, students can discuss with teachers and other students in the Team Class.
Belva Devara, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Ruangguru announced the opening of Ruangguru Online School for free. Through this program, students can take distance learning online (live teaching) every Monday to Friday, like they do at schools.
Started from last March 2020, students can take part in Ruangguru Free Online School lessons from 08.00 – 12.00 WIB, where 15 live teaching channels will be available and covering all subjects based on the national curriculum, starting from grade 1 (elementary school) to grade 12 (high school, for IPA & IPS).
Teachers in Indonesia can also take part in free Online Teacher Training for one month. There are 250 teacher training videos covering basic competency materials in the pedagogical and professional fields.
The rapid spread of coronavirus has demonstrated the importance of building resilience to face various problems, from pandemic disease to rapid technology changes. But, it also gives us an opportunity to remind ourselves that the skills students need in this unpredictable situation, such as decision making, creative problem solving, and perhaps adaptability.
Those skills remain a priority for all students, but the resilience must be built into our education systems as well.