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Jakarta Post

Remote communities find alternatives to 'online' learning, bridge digital divide

  • Panca Nugraha and Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta/Mataram   /   Fri, September 18, 2020   /  08:43 am
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A boy studies at home with parental supervision as his teacher instructs him over a walkie-talkie on Aug.1 in Punik hamlet, Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara.(JP/Panca Nugraha)

The government recently allocated Rp 7.2 trillion (US$ 532 million) to fund a subsidy scheme for mobile phone credits and mobile data packages to ensure the success of its distance education (PJJ) policy, as schools remain closed to prevent coronavirus transmission. But the gaping digital divide between schools, students and teachers across the country, especially in outlying rural areas, has proven a significant impediment to implementing the PJJ policy. Read also: State distance learning plan fails to account for poor, disconnected students Some schools, however, have come up with creative ways to bridge the digital divide by cutting out the “digital” component. One solution was seen in a recent viral video that shows students studying with the help of a device invented during World War Two: the walkie-talkie. “I will give you 30 minutes to compl...