Distance education in Indonesia in the time of Corona

May 21st, 2020 - Posted By Sujata Gamage

In Sri Lanka, with a population of 22 million, 11,000 schools closed on March 12th affecting 4.5 million students. The situation in Indonesia parallels Sri Lanka though Indonesia’s population at 268 million is ten times that of Sri Lanka. According to a World Bank blog, in Indonesia, over 530,000 schools closed affecting 65 million students. The situation is forcing a very fast and broad increase in the country’s use of EdTech, which is expected to have lasting effects on the market.

An earlier report based on the world Bank’s  EdTech landscape survey for Indonesia notes the growth of local platforms, such as Harukaedu (a platform offering online university degrees), Ruangguru (an interactive e-learning platform for K-12 students in Indonesia) and Cakap by Squline (a tutoring platform for language learning). But overall the sector is still emerging.

Many students in rural areas lack connectivity, and many lower-income students lack access to devices needed to use EdTech tools. This contrasts with lower-tech options such as television where 95% of students accessed TV in the prior week according to data from the 2018 national socio-economic survey. To help address these equity issues for access, the Ministry of Education and Culture launched educational programming called Belajar dari Rumah (Study from Home) on national television on April 13. In Sri Lanka, The National Institute of Education of Sri Lanka launched TV programs from morning till night from March 22nd, catering to students in Grade 5, 11, and 13 who will be sitting for national exams in August or after.

The earlier reluctance to adopt technology among some of Indonesia’s educational institutions, teachers, and parents has been turned around by the crisis, as many are now reliant on online and distance education. World Bank expects the pandemic to accelerate the adoption of online learning methods and to encourage educational institutions to use remote learning to improve resilience in future crises.



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