Using Tech to Improve Education in Indonesia

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JAKARTA — Indonesia’s students are one of the highest groups of technology users according to Cambridge International’s Global Education census. These students are using more technology in the classrooms than in many countries including those that are more developed countries. As a result, they have the highest usage of IT and computer rooms globally at 40 percent. To leverage this growing trend, Australia’s Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) program has launched multiple technological programs to boost the quality of education across the country.

While Indonesia does have the largest number of technology users, the quality of education is still lacking compared to other countries around the world. Education reform programs run into issues when children are located in remote areas with limited access to newer technologies and when a different language is spoken at home than the one used in the national curriculum. The country also has a massive number of students compared to the number of teachers available, with 50 million students and 3 million teachers located in Indonesia. Education technology would take some strain off of educators and allow more students to be reached using computer programs.

Australia has partnered with Indonesia for several programs to improve education in Indonesia. Along with the INOVASI program, Australia has also funded the Technical Assistance for Education System Strengthening (TASS) program, which helps to increase educator’s knowledge of learning techniques and teaching methods to improve reading comprehension for students. Another platform that is currently pushing for more usage of education technology is Bizcom Indonesia. This article will discuss all three programs to explain the progress that the initiatives have made in Indonesian classrooms.

INOVASI Program

INOVASI works with both Indonesian students and teachers to build the quality of education found throughout the country. The initiative received $49 million from the Australian government and the program will run from 2016 through 2019. The program is currently being implemented in 17 districts across four provinces of Indonesia: West Nusa Tenggara, North Kalimantan, Sumba Island in East Nusa Tenggara and East Java. INOVASI helps to increase the level of education for teachers to create a common standard for education materials around the country. One of the target goals involves developing a problem-driven iterative adaptation, or PDIA, mindset for the teachers. This method helps teachers make learning a more personal experience and reach kids using different methods. The program also incorporates the usage of ebooks so that more children can have access to textbooks in rural areas.

TASS Program

Technical Assistance for Education System Strengthening is a $12 million program being implemented from 2015 to 2020. TASS helps provide aid to the government of Indonesia to focus on improving the educational systems around the country. The program supports legislation that helps to address the lack of quality education in rural areas and the lack of qualified teachers in the country. TASS also works with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of National Development Planning to increase the rigor and success of education in Indonesia.

Bizcom Indonesia

Bizcom Indonesia, an initiative for businessmen and businesswomen to increase technological innovation, hosted a conference to discuss the progress of education technology in early 2019. The conference focused on the success of EdTech in recent years for the school system, with the main presentation highlighting how the increase in technology is helping to reach more students than before. The main presentation also discussed how some schools were beginning to adopt a “bring your own device” rule, allowing more students to have access to technology in the classroom. Indonesia has one of the fastest-growing markets for EdTech, and the spread of technology will continue to make education more accessible to the masses.

All three of these initiatives help to improve education in Indonesia. With a highly adaptable market for electronics, the country has an easy pathway for including more education technology in schools. As technology usage increases throughout classrooms, the level of education will increase and allow Indonesian job markets to flourish.

– Kristen Bastin
Photo: Flickr

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