Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia
The coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects in human’s life. The way we tread upon our life is way different than before the pandemic happens. The economic chain is disrupted, social balance is in a state of disarray, and the education field is rapidly changing. The future becomes more and more uncertain as days pass by.
Children who will take over our world in the future are becoming vulnerable as the education system is forced to change almost overnight. Schools have to go from offline learning to an online learning during the pandemic. While as a society we had been utilizing online learning for a while, it is all by choice. Those who took online classes or decided to enroll their children into an online-based school are making their choices based on their own judgement. Even so, back in the time before the pandemic, online learning was still combined with some form of offline activities. Due to the demanding protocol of physical distancing, such a thing is not possible to do for some time in the foreseeable future. Children are required to attend school online and there is nothing most of us can do about it.
Then, what’s the problem with online learning? If anything, most teachers are saying that the teaching system becomes more efficient as they become more connected to their students. Even the statistics mention that students are able to hold 25% to 60% more information by studying online rather than the 8% to 10% when they are studying in a classroom. Well, for starters, it is incredible for students who are able to afford it. Meaning those who have access to the internet, devices such as smartphones and laptops, and having no trouble in learning prior to the pandemic.
So, what is happening to those who are not so fortunate, but are required to do online learning? Most of them are struggling, of course. In Indonesia, based on OECD’s data, only 34% of students have computers to do their schoolwork compared to 95% in Switzerland, Norway, and Austria. In fact, Project Child Indonesia has been holding campaigns and opening internet data and device donations for those children who are unable to attend online classes due to their limitations. However, the lack of internet connection and devices is not the only thing that hindered some children in learning through online classes. There are children with special needs such as deafness, blindness, autism, and hyperactivity that just can’t do most of their learning online. They need a hands-on learning experience that stimulates them to learn.
Seeing the difficulties of online learning, is it here to stay for good then? For now, no one knows. The future is filled with unlimited possibilities, but one thing for sure, it will never cease to exist. In the future, we might have to balance both online and offline learning. Both ways of learning have their own positive and negative sides. It is up to us as the users to explore it and utilize it to its full potential.