The Ministry of Education and Culture and Plan Indonesia Promote Equal Education for All Students

 JAKARTA, June 18, 2020 – In improving effective education services during the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Ministry of Education and Culture collaborating with Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) facilitate a platform for 50 students from various provinces in Indonesia to have a discussion with Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Anwar Makarim.

The hearing between 50 students and Minister of Education and Culture was conducted online. The participating students came from various backgrounds, such as: remote areas, islands, disadvantaged areas, and students with disabilities. They provided input on the learning process during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Education and Culture appreciated the hearing organized by Plan Indonesia aligned with the spirit of multi-stakeholder cooperation to enhance the education sector during the pandemic. “I am glad to have this dialogue with these student and directly listen to their experience and creative ideas. This continuous effort encourages us to promote equal access to education, not only related to infrastructure, but also opportunities for all students in Indonesia,” said the Minister of Education and Culture.

Pandemics has led to different effects on adults and children. Children are directly and indirectly affected by changes in the environment and disruption in various sectors including the education system, child protection service system, family economic, the intensity of care, as well as changes in social interaction.

Some of the issues and recommendations raised by students include the challenges of distance learning that are not yet child-friendly and inclusive; infrastructure and access to technologies which have not been evenly distributed such as the internet, electricity including cellular communication equipment, computers, TV and radio.

In addition, the allocation of School Operational Cost (BOS) funds is considered ineffective in reaching students in distance learning, support and assistance from parents and teachers have not been maximized, tasks are too heavy without teacher guidance, also double burden at home especially for girls still exists. In rural areas, distance learning is also considered to be less than optimal, especially for areas that are not covered by electricity and the internet, with educational facilities and the number and capacity of educators that is still very limited.

Executive Director of Plan Indonesia, Dini Widiastuti said that distance learning has the potential to give a dual role (double burden) for the child, especially girls, because they have to do school work as well as household chores. “The amount of children’s workload from school and the various ways of submitting them burdens children and parents who supervise while learning from home, and this double burden can challenge the psychological condition of children,” said Dini.

The Ministry of Education and Culture records, the Covid-19 pandemic in the education sector is felt by 3,145,330 teachers and 56,168,760 students in Indonesia, ranging from Early Childhood Education (PAUD) through high school/vocational/equivalent, as well as higher education, religious education, pesantren, community education, and training education.

In an effort to support government programs, Plan Indonesia has made emergency responses by ensuring the protection of children’s rights during the pandemic, especially girls, children with disabilities, children in low economic families, and children in remote areas who face difficulty regarding logistics and infrastructure access. Plan Indonesia has made Covid-19 emergency responses in East Nusa Tenggara in the districts of South Central Timor, Nagekeo, Lembata, Belu, Malaka, Manggarai, West Nusa Tenggara in West Lombok, North Lombok and Mataram, Sumbawa, DKI Jakarta in 18 villages and Central Java.

To date, more than 400,000 children and adults have been recorded as direct beneficiaries of Plan Indonesia’s emergency response in the form of clean water supply and hygiene kits, hygiene promotion activities, child protection, and ensuring access to education for children in remote areas. Plan Indonesia seeks to provide safe spaces for children and young people, especially women, to voice the challenges faced during the pandemic as well as their ideas and aspirations. (*)

For further information, please contact:

Intan Cinditiara (Olla) Media and Communication Manager Yayasan Plan International Indonesia Tel: +62 818 928764 Email: Intan.Cinditiara@plan-international.orgIrwan Firdaus Media Coordinator Yayasan Plan International Indonesia Tel: +62 818 08587882 Email: ifirdaus9@gmail.com

[1] Data of Education Response per 12 June 2020, Ministry of Education and Culture RI 2020.