AS almost all parents in Indonesia today, my wife and I also have the responsibility of helping our children learn from home. We and many parents have to admit that explaining various subjects and accompanying children on school assignments is not as easy as imagined.
The hard work of the teachers and lecturers so far really deserves appreciation. In the midst of social restrictions due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we must remain enthusiastic about pursuing and teaching science. Almost no one thought, the face of education would change drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The concept of home-schooling has never been mainstream in the discourse of national education. Despite its growing popularity, the application of online learning (online learning) has been limited to Open Universities, lecture programs for employees at a number of universities and additional courses (online courses).
However, the physical distancing policy to stop the spread of the epidemic, forced a change from formal education in school to learning from home, with an online system, on a national scale. In fact, this year's national exams had to be abolished.
The online education system is not easy either. Apart from personal discipline for independent study, there are facilities and resources that must be provided.
but I hear complaints from many parents of students and also educators who have difficulty, both in providing learning devices such as cellphones and laptops as well as pulses for internet connections.
In other words, this online learning system has the potential to widen the socio-economic disparities that have occurred during the pandemic. The Ministry of Manpower (20/4) noted that more than 2 million workers and formal-informal workers have been sent home or have been dismissed. Under these conditions, many parents find it difficult to provide optimal educational opportunities for their children.
In a worse situation, parents may even face a dilemma of choice: feed the family or pay for children's education. This has the potential to increase the dropout rate. Since the study from home policy was implemented nationally starting March 16, 2020, there have been indications of an increase in dropout rates in various places. Starting from Papua, North Maluku, to Jakarta. These areas are classified as the red zone in the spread of the plague. The dropout rate from rural areas is also expected to increase.
In the long term, these children who drop out of school are more likely to be unemployed, either privately or openly. This will not only accumulatively reduce national productivity, but will make them trapped in a vicious circle of structural poverty.
Education is the key to human resource development. The quality of human resources is the key to the realization of the Golden Indonesia 2045, which is just and prosperous, safe and peaceful, as well as advanced and global. Education will determine where this nation will meet its future, whether to become a great civilized, intelligent and ready to adapt to change era. Or, become a sick giant, who is drowning in his own problems. Lose in global competition, and even randomized various short-term interests, both from within and outside the country.
We still have a lot of homework to do in improving the quality of national education. The Covid-2019 pandemic has revealed a number of critical problems that must be resolved immediately because it concerns the sustainability and quality of student education and the welfare of students, teachers and lecturers. No matter how difficult it is, we must continue to fight for and guard the education reform process, as the key to the glory of the Republic of Indonesia.