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The Race for Digital Learning Leaves Many Students Behind – but Not Anymore, with Indonesian Schools Going Digital Without The Internet

Kipin School for Digital Learning Without Internet

Insights into providing a better education for students in Indonesia through distance learning even with limited internet connectivity

Since the pandemic, we have been forced to live ‘online’. We not only work online, but we also socialize online, and many students today have to learn online. But what do we do when most students neither have adequate internet access nor sufficient funds to participate in online learning?

The evidence is shocking: 94 percent of Indonesian students consider distance learning costly, and 6 in 10 schools do not have adequate internet access to learn online. A recent 2020 survey states that 7 in 10 students today are learning through low-data apps like WhatsApp, sometimes having over 10 WhatsApp groups to manage all their subjects and activities. While we witness a frenzied race in urban areas toward digital learning, many other students in the numerous non-urban areas have been left behind.

THE REALITY OF DIGITAL EDUCATION IN INDONESIA

The education problem faced in Indonesia is that of learning inequality. While we have made improvements in enrollment, students receive vastly different access to quality education in their formative years,  depending on socioeconomic status and distance to urban areas.

Furthermore, Indonesia still struggles with digital infrastructure, with 54 million students in 220,000 K-12 schools spread across 17,000 islands nationwide. With its inadequate communication infrastructure, Indonesia has also experienced significant learning loss as the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities.

There are multiple causes attributed to the learning inequalities and “broken links” that students in Indonesia are

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