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Jakarta Post

Home learning hindered by technology gap, Nadiem acknowledges

  • Apriza Pinandita
    Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 15, 2020   /   05:00 pm
Home learning hindered by technology gap, Nadiem acknowledges Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim gestures after the announcement of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet on Oct. 23, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim has acknowledged that technological discrepancies between schools have reduced the effectiveness of home-based learning, a program launched to accommodate COVID-19 distancing measures.

The minister said schools in certain regions were progressing slowly and were at risk of being unable to catch up to others academically. Other schools had taken to distance learning through the use of low- and high-tech tools.

“We still need time to analyze the overall effectiveness of home-based learning. However, what we do know is we have a lot of anecdotal evidence about challenges surrounding the online learning process,” the minister said on Thursday.

He said the effectiveness of home-based learning was related to the educational system’s comfort in adopting new technology.

Nadiem said education technology was being adopted at an unprecedented rate as parents, teachers and students adjusted to the demands of distance learning under COVID-19.

“It can heavily accelerate technology adoption in education in the future. This is a very encouraging trend.”

Read also: Tips from parents on helping children study at home during COVID-19 outbreak

Technology adoption remains a challenge for the Indonesian education system.

A 2019 report issued by global mobile communications industry body GSMA demonstrated a wide digital gap between people living in urban and rural areas. About 45 percent of Indonesians live in rural areas.

Indonesia has 170 million internet users. However, the government has said that digital literacy in Indonesia is still relatively low, causing hurdles for teachers, students and parents wanting to engage in a tech-based education.

Nadiem said he believed there were many possible solutions depending on each school’s access to and adoption of technology. He said the government was investigating what would work.

“When we return to school after this crisis, we’ll be able to scale up measures that we know are working for certain segments of our educational system,” the minister said.