Learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic
With her school closed, 6-year-old Moreyna strives to continue learning at home in Papua
Caption: 6-year old Moreyna follows an educational TV programme at home in Jayapura, Papua, after her school was closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
JAYAPURA, Indonesia – This morning, 6-year-old Moreyna woke up at 7 a.m. just like she usually does. After showering and eating breakfast, she put on her school uniform and asked her mother to take her to school in the hope that everything had gone back to normal.
But Moreyna was soon disappointed to find out that her school is still closed due to the pandemic.
Moreyna is a student at the Kuncup Mekar Kindergarten in Jayapura. Since the Papuan Government decided to close all schools in the province in March 2020, she has been studying from home with her mother Maria Morin.
Over 60 million students in Indonesia are temporarily out of school due to COVID-19, impacting their education in unprecedented ways.
“Based on a survey of parents and students, the biggest obstacles that students face while learning at home is a lack of internet access and electronic devices,” said UNICEF Education Specialist Nugroho Warman. “Parents also have to focus on other obligations to support their family, which leaves them with less time to support their children.”
In response, the Government of Indonesia is broadcasting an educational TV programme called Belajar dari Rumah (Learning from Home) through the TVRI network to help children learn from home. The programme, which is organised by the Ministry of Education, broadcasts shows from Monday to Friday for school-aged children from preschool to high school that cover a range of areas, including a parenting programme.
The closure of schools, therefore, doesn’t mean the learning also stops.
To help assess the effectiveness of the programme, UNICEF has supported education authorities to conduct regular surveys involving teachers, parents and children. The surveys, which are SMS-based to reach areas with no internet access, collect feedback on home learning activities to ensure every student is receiving the support they need.
UNICEF is also helping the Ministry of Education and Culture to develop offline learning materials and establish guidelines for preventing and responding to COVID-19 in the education sector at provincial and district levels.
The closure of schools, therefore, doesn’t mean the learning also stops. Moreyna, who will attend primary school soon, is still happily studying at home. With her mother by her side, she regularly watches the Belajar dari Rumah programme on TV and takes part in online learning when needed.
While she’s been at home, Moreyna has also been active around the house. She helps her mother bake and has started dancing, a new hobby that she and her brother enjoy.
Just like other children her age, staying at home hasn’t been easy for Moreyna. The past two months have felt like a long time for the little girl.
“I don’t like it because I can’t see my friends and teachers,” she said. Her mother has also noticed that Moreyna appears bored at times and is eager to return to school.
“I hope this virus will be gone soon so all activities and everything else can go back to normal again,” Maria said.