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COVID-19: Tech startups offer free services to students, employees in self-quarantine

Rizki Fachriansyah
Rizki Fachriansyah

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, March 18, 2020  /  03:02 pm
COVID-19: Tech startups offer free services to students, employees in self-quarantine

Illustration of remote working (Shutterstock/StankevskayaYlya)

A number of homegrown tech startups have rolled out free services to cater to the needs of students and employees put in self-quarantine during the period of social distancing urged by the government in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Education technology (EdTech) startup Ruangguru, for instance, has recently unveiled its Ruangguru Online School Program, which users of all grades may enroll onto for free. All users – including those who have yet to subscribe to the platform’s paid tier – can access the program, the company noted in a recent statement.

The virtual classes – taught by the platform’s so-called master teachers – can be accessed from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. starting on March 16.

The Ruangguru application is available for download from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Once users have signed up for an account, they may opt into the Ruangguru Online School Program. On the Online School menu, users may pick which classes they wish to join based on the relevant grades and subjects.

Ruangguru founder and chief executive officer Adamas Belva Syah Devara, who also currently serves as a member of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s expert staff, tweeted that the company had struck a partnership with cellular operator Telkomsel to offer a special internet package that allows its users to access the virtual classes for free.

“Ruangguru and Telkomsel offer a free 30-gigabyte [internet package] to students so they may be able to study online,” Belva said on his Twitter page @AdamasBelva.

Another EdTech platform, Quipper, has also offered free online tools that teachers and students may use to continue school activities from home during the social distancing period.

Teachers can use Quipper School to digitally organize teaching materials, including quizzes and exams. The platform also provides teachers with training videos to ensure a seamless to transition to an all-digital workflow.

Students of grade 9 to 12 are granted free access to videos, exercises and exam tryouts on a variety of subjects on the platform.

Quipper can be downloaded from Play Store.

Students seeking an alternative EdTech platform during the self-quarantine period can also learn from Zenius, which is offering free access to its library of more than 80,000 videos on various subjects for grade 1 to 12 students.

The majority of Zenius’ videos are in the so-called ‘whiteboard’ format that requires relatively less data than fully animated videos, the company noted in a blog post.

Zenius is available for download on Play Store and App Store.

Office employees and professionals working remotely from home during the self-quarantine period may use the Hadirr application, which offers a free 30-day access to a platform that enables its users to digitally keep track of attendance, work hours and assignments.

Hadirr highlights two major features: a GPS-enabled location-tracking system that displays information regarding an employee’s current position and a face recognition system that offers a more hygienic attendance reporting experience than the usual fingerprint-scanning method.

“Social distancing, which entails working from home, has to be viewed as a priority among the people of Indonesia to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We hope the Hadirr app can contribute to the mitigation efforts,” said Hadirr CEO Afia Fitriati in a statement.

Hadirr is available for download on Play Store and App Store.

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