The Online Learning Assistance (OLA) program was initiated by Project Child Indonesia at the beginning of March 2020 as a response to the uncertain circumstances amid the Covid-19 pandemic. OLA is an adjustment of our main program Sekolah Sungai to solve the new problems that have arisen due to the shifting in the learning process systems at schools, as well as our adjustments through our regular on-site meetings in large groups to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Consequently, Project Child Indonesia follows certain rules required in the operation of the program, such as social distancing and the health protocol regulations imposed by the Government.
When the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 as a global pandemic, the Indonesian Government decided to change the traditional face-to-face learning method in schools to a distance and online learning method. However, this new policy has created several problems for the middle and low classes in the Sekolah Sungai communities on the banks of the Code River, Winongo River, and Gajah Wong River in Yogyakarta. One of the most significant constraints the communities face is the parents’ struggle to provide Internet access and data packages to their children so they can ‘attend’ school from their homes. Another example of a limitation of the Covid-19 pandemic concerns the teachers. Although teachers continue to provide assignments and homework to their students, they are not fully equipped to explain the subject materials to them. In addition, parents also have limitations in time and knowledge to assist their children in understanding the school materials and helping them do their school assignments.
To help compensate for these issues, Project Child Indonesia through the Online Learning Assistance project, provides:
Internet Data Aid
Project Child Indonesia collaborated with PT, XL Axiata Tbk, to provide an Internet data quota to support the online learning activities of children in the country. The Internet data aid was made possible with the help of Gollaborate.id’s crowdfunding on Kitabisa.com. Together, we distributed Internet aid to 81 children between September and November 2020.
Online and Offline Tutor Sessions
The Online Learning Assistance program in 2020 combines 50% online and 50% offline tutor sessions by volunteers for children in the three Sekolah Sungai communities to help them do their school tasks and understand the school material better, especially in Mathematics, Science, and English. The weekly offline tutoring sessions adhered to the safety and health guidelines imposed by the Government, with five learning posts consisting of small groups of children (3-5 children per group) and assisted by a volunteer in each Sekolah Sungai location. In addition, the online classes were conducted through video calls on WhatsApp. Project Child Indonesia has undertaken a total of 21 tutoring sessions in the three Sekolah Sungai communities in Code river, Winongo river, and Gajahwong river.
At the beginning of 2021, The Online Learning Assistance program does not necessarily focus on formal education but rather supports informal education on Plastic Waste and Disaster Education. However, volunteers attending the once-a-week learning sessions can be relied on as tutors/mentors and available to answer related homework and school matters. These learning topics are taught based on consultations with the children regarding what they wish to learn outside school hours. To-My Daughter supports the tutor session, and we use a wifi router from PT. XL Axiata Tbk. and Project Child Indonesia then tops up the quota. We are also making use of donations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia in the form of 30 tablets which can be used interchangeably by children during the session. Overall, the Online Learning Assistance program reached more than 200 direct beneficiaries, including the children and volunteers.
To foster an educational recovery in a post-pandemic era, Project Child Indonesia has managed to establish communication with relevant stakeholders to receive support for implementing the program. Project Child Indonesia reached out to more than 40 schools in the hopes of facilitating online learning assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities across Yogyakarta and Pacitan. Supported and funded by the Alumni Grant Scheme (AGS), this program reached 85+ students throughout 44 different schools, involving various stakeholders along the way. With a total of 33 volunteers and interns participating in the program, The Online Learning Assistance facilitated peer-to-peer learning composed of 3 students per group for children between the age of 10-12 years old. Among other student requests and formal subjects taught (English, Mathematics, and Science), English Conversational Classes and Cultural Studies are also offered. The tutor sessions are designed to provide an interactive learning experience with various learning activities and topics each week. To increase curiosity and critical thinking skills, subjects and learning activities facilitated by our volunteers encourage students to participate during class actively.
Due to the success of the Online Learning Assistance program, Project Child Indonesia aims to continue providing support to the Government’s movement to create equal access to distance learning for every child in Indonesia amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes prioritizing the most vulnerable children, especially those with limited resources to recover from a natural disaster’s impact and those with limited access to health and social services, education, and job opportunities.