Monday, 29 June 2020

Preliminary Analysis of the Driving Factors behind Disparities in Distance Learning at the Elementary School Level


In some regions in Indonesia, efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have been followed by the distance learning policy. As a result, teachers and students are required to be able to adapt to changes in the teaching-learning process. In practice, however, the implementation of the policy varies greatly and is influenced by many different factors.

One of the factors that influence the implementation of distance learning is access to communication devices. Students without communication devices find it difficult to receive teaching materials from their teachers. Similarly, teachers living in areas without adequate telecommunication networks face adversities to hold regular classes. Teacher competency is another factor influencing the implementation of distance learning. Highly competent teachers, most of whom reside on the Java Island, generally use more than one teaching method and try to enrich their teaching material by utilizing the internet.

To assess the students’ learning process, most of them use tests which are delivered periodically. Highly competent teachers even involve students' parents through discussions or dialogues in assessing their students’ learning. Differences in the implementation of distance learning will definitely widen the disparities in student learning outcomes. Ineffective learning processes, as a negative impact of distance learning policy, are mostly felt by students outside the Java Island due to the limited learning facilities and the low competency of their teachers.


This Issue Briefs is one of the products of a series of nine SMERU studies on the socioeconomic conditions of people living in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The studies are supported by Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI).

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