No Internet Access, Radio Schooling Works!

Sari, is a 12 year-old student who lives in South Central Timor District (TTS) of south-east Indonesia. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many children to study from home, including Sari. Although studying at home allows students to have more time to spend with their families and various other activities, studying at home can be a challenge for many children because the learning materials are provided remotely via digital platforms.

The obligation to conduct distance learning via video call, for instance, is not easy. Apart from the fact that students cannot directly ask their teachers if they are confused, another challenge is not all students own laptops or cellphones, and internet quotas are also  expensive. Sari as one of the 7th grade students, has to use a cellphone to study during the COVID-19 pandemic. The difficulty that Sari faces is that the cellphone she uses is her father’s cellphone, which her sister also has to use to study remotely.

To address this challenge, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) distributed more than 1,000 radios in various regions including TTS district. The radio distributed by Plan Indonesia is a solution for children in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) who have minimal access to digital devices and the internet. Sari, as one of the beneficiaries, stated that she is very happy to be able to study by radio. According to her, radio makes learning easier, especially for difficult subjects such as English.

Through radio, Sari can learn various subjects such as mathematics, English, religion and more. Sari stated, “I find it easier to learn with the radio. My sister has also received thisa radio. “

As well as the radio, Sari is also very happy to receive a school bag, stationery, soaps, toothbrushes, and several books. Sari said, “I am so happy to receive books to read read from Plan Indonesia.”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic many school activities are limited and Sari cannot meet with her friends. So Sari making the best of her free time by weaving. Sari was taught how to weave by her aunt who is part of a weaving group in TTS district.

Learning from home for months can be a challenge for students areas like NTT. The use of radios in these areas has helped children continue to learn and better their education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.