By Fauziah Rizqi / 4103181047
In the last six months, we have witnessed students from primary to tertiary education use laptops or smartphones to access online learning content while their schools and campuses are closed. More than 60 higher education institutions in Indonesia have now conducted online learning by exploiting distant education platforms.
As the tech-savvy young generations including children seem to be excelling in adapting to online learning, we are being more and more convinced that maybe the way education is delivered will never be the same again even after COVID-19. The question is, is this new way of learning really benefitting the community?
Online learning was initially seen as a cheaper and more flexible alternative for developing countries to increase the number of students who have access to fulltime education and to close the education divide between rural and urban students. The developing countries, however, are facing many challenges in implementing online learning, from poor ICT network infrastructure, a lack of quality content and issues over the competencies of the people that interact with the e-learning system.
Indonesia is in a unique position to exploit the advent of online learning. More than 171 million or 69 percent of Indonesians are connected to the worldwide web with an internet penetration rate that stood at 63.5 percent in 2019 according to the latest survey by the Association of Indonesian Internet Service Providers (APJII), which is higher than the average of Asian countries.
The period of school closure should be utilized by all stakeholders in the education sector to adapt to the e-learning ecosystem and find the best formula for how best the online education content should be developed and delivered.