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Education Over Pandemic

Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

The level of the spread of Covid-19 which is increasingly fierce has made community activities seem to stop. The social distancing policy makes public places closed, including schools. The implementation of Pembelajaran Jarak Jauh (PJJ) policy is an alternative for all schools in Indonesia to be able to carry out teaching and learning activities. Various virtual learning features are developed and used by teachers and students to keep interacting and learning. But the government forgot that Indonesia is not a country with a population that has an equal economic status. There are still many who are less fortunate and cannot enjoy online learning facilities. Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency in 2019, internet penetration rates in rural areas are at an average of 51.91%, and in urban areas, they average 78.08%. The ownership of computers, which is an important medium for learning, is very low. In rural areas as much as 9.93%, while in urban areas as much as 28.43%. The Ministry of Education and Culture realizes that learning will not be optimal due to uneven facilities. The government has done this by providing PJJ broadcasts on TVRI and RRI, but that has not reached some regions yet. Their hopes in reaching knowledge seemed to bud because it was limited to learning facilities. Of course, this needs more attention from the Indonesian government

However, the problem is not an obstacle for teachers and students who are less fortunate with extraordinary enthusiasm. There is already a lot of information about teachers who go from house to house of their students who do not have access to online learning both television and the internet. They deliver learning materials following the curriculum to each student like a private course. Things like this need to be appreciated. Not just giving material to students, but there is a struggle and a burning passion there. Not to mention the distance between student homes that are not close is a big challenge. This is the picture of the educators needed by our nation today. Teachers become the second window of knowledge for students after books in the field of formal education. For those of us who are currently able to sit comfortably enjoying online learning facilities, shouldn’t we appreciate it with a higher enthusiasm for learning?

Reference

https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/maj alah-52642997

https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2020/04/18/140342165/kisah-pak-guru-avan-mengajar-dari-rumah-ke-rumah-karena-siswa-tak-punya?page=all

Skills for Resilient Youth, Celebrating World Youth Skills Day 2020

Written by : Anna Safira Salsabila, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

The world is changing. There are more and more challenges to face and each day is different and with that means there are also a lot of new things we need to learn and prepare for the sake of our future. None of us know what will happen a month later or even tomorrow in our life. Preparing ourselves is a must needed especially as young people. That’s why every July 15th the world celebrates World Youth Skills Day to inspire young people to have acquisition and development skills. For this year, World Youth Skills Day is focusing on “Skills for Resilient Youth”. We all agree that this year we are facing the same challenge that is very new to everyone which is a global pandemic COVID-19 and lockdowns. Many aspects in our life are affected by it and the crucial part is our educational system. Since the pandemic occurred, all activities and work are run online which definitely limit the access to help developing skills. Many youth communities then create their programs from offline to online. One of the local youth communities that has such a program is Project Child Indonesia (PCI).

Project Child Indonesia (PCI) provides internship programs that support acquisition and development of youth skills. Internship programs give opportunities for youth to enhance their skills and passions. In the internship program we can learn more about Practical Health, Environment and Disaster Education, Creating a Holistic Learning Experience, Technology Education, and Volunteer Engagement by joining the Program Team, Research Team, Human Capital Team, Media & IT Team, or Partnership Team. This way, the Internship Program helps prepare youth to face the working world in the future by giving them experience in work. Even though we are in lockdowns, the Internship Program is held through online meetings so everyone can still experience the program at home. 

Alone Together: Our Future in a Cyber Society Post Covid-19

Written by : Devina Prima Kesumaningtyas, Intern Research Project Child Indonesia

After President Joko Widodo announced that there were two people infected by COVID-19, everyone uproared with this news. People start to panic buying, and then the scarcity of disinfectants, masks, and alcohol hand rub. Also, everyone becomes aware to wash their hand regularly. Ironically, the pandemic evokes people’s awareness how importance it is to implement good personal hygiene such as to wash their hands and to not touch their face with dirty hands. 

Now everyone starts to reduce their activities outside their homes. The hashtag stay at home and work from home or WFH are viral on social media. This is to remind people to not doing activities outside the home except it is essential and encourage people to keep two meters distance because to reduce the risk of virus contagion. Many applications such as Google class and Zoom are used by people since physical interaction is not possible, such as teaching, seminars, and meetings are carried out using this application. But do you know if this pandemic is kind of a trial for humans about the future of our society in technology, which makes humans themselves have no limits?  

There is one interesting book that has ever talked about human life side by side with technology. This book explains how people build technology with the purpose to help human’s job. Humans are accustomed to creating a variety of artificial intelligence that can facilitate human activities. In industrial 4.0 era, the technology was able to replace human to some extent. And now, people have become so dependent on technology, smartphones with various applications in it have changed the way people work, even the way humans interact.

From this explanation, let us step back for a moment, to a time when the communication and information system was not as fast as it is now. We had to wait for weeks or even months to find out news from someone who lived in different city. Humans sent letters to communicate with people who are far away from them. Likewise, news that can be accessed through newspapers. There were more effort to send messages and to know what was happening around the world. So that human tried to invent ways to have better and communication system, until the discovery of satellites which are the key to changing the long-distance communication system by humans.

Now everything has changed, we had advanced communication technology and its have an impact on human behavior itself. I think millennials know how it feels to texting during their childhood and even their young teens. From shortened messages to save credit, or only text at certain hours, because there are promos and freebies from certain providers. All of that is part of the evolution of human behavior in communication. Now we have facilitated the existence of video call services and even conference calls that allow many people from various corners of the earth to communicate in one big forum, without having to leave their place.

I think COVID-19 becoming trials for humans to live their life in a cyber society. Before this pandemic appeared there were already many borderless jobs, where we no longer need to go to the office just to have a meeting or do our work. Working remotely has become commonplace at this time. Companies do not need to have a large office building. That could only be a mere formality after all meetings and work can be handled through social media. Likewise in the future learning system, maybe school buildings will be quiet and empty because their students can learn on their own via the internet. This pandemic looks to prepare us to live in a new condition when everyone doesn’t need physical interaction.

Manuel Castell once wrote that Several major social, technological, economic, and cultural information came together to give rise to a new form of society”. This quote is taken from his book entitled The Rise of Network Society. The quote illustrates that the shape of our society may change with the times, technological advancements, and an increasingly advanced economy. Our society, which is usually connected in the real world, might turn into a virtual society. After all, this has happened when the rise of social media such as Whatsapp, Line, Instagram, and so on. COVID-19 pandemic is a kind of trial for many people to live their life as a part of cyber society. And we never know what’s going to happen after this pandemic. I think this pandemic will change the way human interaction. And our technology developed also our culture value always changed following the technology itself. 

And now we still don’t know when this pandemic will end. Maybe the vaccine has been found, but it’s still in a trial period that takes a year or more. And then this time was uncertainty for every human. But now the question is, are humans ready to change the way they interact with fellow humans? Maybe after this pandemic ends it will affect the way we interact with others. The habit of not coming into contact with others may also still be left in the minds of each of us, giving rise to its fears for humans. Humans may still say hello, but they can’t be as close as before the pandemic appeared. Reporting from the BBC News Indonesia website Anthony Fauci, a Head of the National Institute in the US for the problem of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said so, “I think we should not shake hands again.” The phrase shows that physical contact made by humans is no longer needed, given there will be many possible diseases that can be transmitted from physical contact between humans. Not to mention the possibility that this virus can mutate into a virus that is even more resistant to any drug. The worst, if these pandemics never end, then what happens is, humans will not be able to interact directly and make physical contact, and humans will be alone, together.

References: 

Sherry Turkle : Alone Together :Why We expect More from T e c h n o l o g y and Less from each other

Manuel Castell : The Network Society A Cross-cultural Perspective

BBC Indonesia :  Virus Corona: Apakah Covid-19 Akan Membuat Kebiasaan Jabat Tangan Punah?

https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/vert-cap-52283322

Why a Balanced Diet can Help your Immune System to Prevent Infected by COVID-19

Written by : Peeters, Former Community Engagement Project Child Indonesia

As the World Health Organization declares Covid-19 as a global pandemic resulting in countries grappling with imminent dangers that this virus poses to humanity, there are very few measures that individuals can take to fight this pandemic.

Indonesia currently ranks first in Covid-19 mortality rate in Asia. Data shown from John Hopkins University states that due to its poor public health management and regional disparities within its health system, the mortality rate spikes to 8-9 percent. And as a result of widespread testing absence as a matter of precaution, Indonesia has also put 27,549 patients under strict observation for suspected coronavirus infection.

During disease outbreaks, such as today, it is always the most vulnerable and marginalized communities who suffer the most. The lack of high testing rate, tight biosurveillance, solid contract tracing and sufficient hospital capacity, marginalized communities in Indonesia are in jeopardy.

Project Child Indonesia is supporting the community and the government to a certain extent to prevent the spread of the disease, especially among vulnerable and marginalized communities through promotion of healthy food information  that leads to behavior change.

Hence, what have we learned to prevent ourselves from being infected by the virus? We have learned to prevent ourselves from Covid-19 by taking simple daily precautions such as washing your hands, practicing social and/or physical distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep, are several ways to lower risk of infection.

While it is crucial to mention hygiene standards, there are also certain methods to improve your immunity which is paramount at this juncture. The immune system is a complex system of structures and processes that have evolved to protect the body from disease. More than 70% of the body’s immunity is located in the intestinal digestive system. Because of that, intestinal health is one of the keys to maintaining endurance.

Hence, the question arises, how can one boost their immune system or maintain a healthy gut and/or intestinal health to fight Covid-19?

It is a tough question, indeed, mainly because the immune system is not a single-system that can be measured easily, as mentioned prior. It’s an intricate and delicate system with many different variables.

Although no research has been done on foods that help fight against  Covid-19 specifically. There are previous studies that have found consuming certain foods can help improve your gut health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight other invasive viruses.

Optimal intestinal health should be considered, especially during times like this. As having too many” bad “bacteria in the gut has been linked to various problems, including allergies, autoimmune disorders and maybe even anxiety and depression.

Research shows, when the number of probiotics Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in the intestine decreases, it will cause an imbalance in the intestine (Gut Dysbiosis). This will reduce the body’s production of immune substances (IgA, CD4 +, B and T, IL-10 lymphocyte cells) by probiotics.

As a result, viruses that enter the body cannot be killed by the body’s macrophages. Hence, if inflammatory reactions occur, especially in the lungs, it will be progressive. As a result of the more severe symptoms of shortness of breath due to Covid-19 will aggravate and worsen and decrease oxygen flow throughout the body.

  1. Tempeh (Fermented Soybean Cake)

This particular food made from fermented soybeans contains a significant number of health benefits, such as proteins that help build and repair muscles tissues.

  1. Kombucha

This slightly fizzy and acidic tea does not only contain probiotics, but also contains B vitamins, which help support the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  1. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that does not only contain probiotics, but also a rich  source of calcium and protein.

  1. Sauerkraut

Pickled cabbage is the result of lactic acid fermentation, the process by which bacteria convert sugar into lactic acid. By consuming pickled cabbage it would help keep the intestines healthy by preventing the development of bad bacteria. Furthermore, one cup of sauerkraut provides about 30 calories and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. This food also provides fiber and iron.

  1. Yogurt

A great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut and immune system, it is also effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections. Yogurt contains live and active cultures including lactobacillus bulgaricus. Lactobacillus bulgaricus is able to produce lactic acid which helps fight bad bacteria.

  1. Probiotic Supplements

In any case that you are unable to consume food that is rich in probiotics due to unavailability or any other reasons, there is always an option of consuming probiotic supplements. 

This is the time to look at your lifestyle and see what you are capable of changing. Proper hand sanitation is the number one method of control, but you can do more than just that. But remember, it is not about consuming all the healthy food at once, but rather a balanced diet of healthy food.

COVID-19: Lesson Learned

Written by : Rizki Chairunnisa, Research Intern

According to the World Health Organization, the growing number of COVID-19 cases have reached more than 150,000 cases globally by mid-March 2020. In Indonesia, the government first announced the first cases located in Depok, West Java, on March 2, 2020. After that, the number of positive cases grew rapidly, and as per March 23, more than 500 cases were found in DKI Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, Bali, and Pontianak. Per March 23, 49 patients have been cured and 32 patients have died.  Various policies have been enacted by the central and regional governments to try and tackle the spread of COVID-19. W.H.O has sent a letter to the Indonesian president to declare this pandemic as a national disaster. The government has also instructed social distancing, online study, and work from home to reduce the spread of the virus.

This pandemic has changed many sectors and forced people to adapt in short amount of time. We should learn from our mistakes and draw lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic to be used in future crises.

1. STAY AT HOME – Public Health is Everyone’s Responsibility

Public health is everyone’s responsibility, especially in the instance of a worldwide pandemic. The first and most important thing everyone can do right now is STAY HOME! Practicing social distancing, avoid mass gatherings of more than 10 people, and shutting down non-essential businesses and practices are important steps to take. Other methods that are important to keep in mind are regularly washing hands with soap for 20 seconds, changing clothes after going outside, and avoid touching your face. By doing social distancing and self-hygiene, we prevent the further spread of the virus. Some people are misinterpreting social distancing as holiday and vacation since they are off from school or work and are using this opportunity to explore around the city. This is wrong and could make things even worse. Staying at home and isolating, limiting interactions between people, is proven to slow the spread of the virus.
It is also important to remember that while young and healthy people may feel like the virus cannot affect them as much, we need to work together to protect vulnerable populations such as elders, children, and people with underlying conditions. Also, young people and children are not immune. They are just as susceptible to being infected with the virus, and even though they are dying at a lower rate, they’re still dying. Covoid-19 is a public health issue, and we all have stake in it. We all have to take responsibility and do our parts by staying at home. 

2. Quick response

A quick response is needed to stop the spread of a pandemic. In this case, we need to learn from Singapore and Taiwan. They both quickly implemented a travel ban from mainland China, encouraged social distancing and self-isolating, and closed all non-essential businesses early on their outbreak, despite knowing the economic losses. Since the first case of the corona was found in Singapore, the government quickly implemented several policies. The government created and distributed enough Covoid-19 tests for those suffering from pneumonia or flu-like symptoms free of charge. They used contact tracing methods of suspected patients by utilizing apps or the police to test and quarantine potential Covoid-19 patients who were in contact with the original person. They strictly isolate suspected of Covid-19 patients and implement penalties for violations.

The same measures were taken in Taiwan. Since they had experience with the SARS pandemic in 2003, they were well-prepared for Covoid-19. They established a command centre for the epidemic. Since the first case was discovered on 20th of January, 2020, the government immediately implemented 124 actions such as border controls, school and work closures, public communications plans and resource assessments of hospitals. As a result, they have less than 100 cases as of mid-March.  

3. Communication is the key

Communication between the government and the public is crucial. The public needs to have trust in political leadership to have a handle on the situation for not only their physical health, but mental health as well. 

Leader’s communication skills need to deliver accurate and up to date information to the public. Leaders and the government should be honest, open, and transparent about the real conditions of their respective countries. Leaders should involve the grassroots stakeholders such as the head of household groups (RT and RW in Indonesia) to deliver the information and instructions to be understood by the local community. When the communication is clear, the public will put confidence in the government that they are taking this pandemic seriously. Also, openness and transparent information are needed to avoid the spread of rumours that cause even more unnecessary anxiety. 

4. Be wise!

During times of uncertainty, people often become anxious and scared, making rash decisions. There is a lot of information being spread about the virus through social media and the news, making it difficult to discern what is real and what is fake. But we have to do our best to remain calm and try to make the best decisions for our families and communities. By slowing down, taking a breath, and focusing on our decisions, we can make wise choices. Take time to analyse the information before making decision. The decisions should be based on a credible source of information and discussion. Take your time when making decisions. Making quick decisions may reduce your current anxiety, but they are likely to create more problems in the future.

It is easier indeed said than done. But we as an individuals, and as part of the community, can work hand in hand to help each other and government to fight the virus. We must be aware of and take action to protect each other. By doing collaboration action we can solve this crisis and eliminate the number of cases.