Indonesia: As guidance on school reopening is released, new surveys show how students are learning from home

Nearly 9 in 10 respondents said they want to go back to school soon

16 June 2020
Arkan, 9 (right), studies at home while keeping a safe distance from his sister Siwi (left)
Arkan, 9 (right), studies at home while keeping a safe distance from his sister Siwi (left) during the COVID-19 outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 29 March 2020. In March 2020, the Jakarta provincial government closed all schools in the city in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

JAKARTA, 16 June 2020 – As Indonesian authorities release new guidance this week for reopening schools across the country, two new surveys show how students have been learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The surveys, conducted by UNICEF from 18 to 29 May 2020 and 5 to 8 June 2020 via U-Report channels comprising SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, received more than 4,000 responses from students in all 34 provinces. Participants were asked a series of questions about how they are dealing with remote learning and how they feel about schools reopening.

Indonesia ordered schools to close in early March, affecting over 60 million students across the country. The survey results suggest that students are eager to return: about two-thirds (66 per cent) said they feel uncomfortable studying from home and a majority (87 per cent) said they want to go back to school soon.

But when asked about going back to school amid the pandemic, half of respondents said they believe it would be best to return once the number of COVID-19 cases is reduced. A large majority (88 per cent) said they are willing to wear masks in school and 90 per cent said they understood the importance of physical distancing if they resume in-classroom learning.

When asked about the main challenges they experience while learning from home, 38 per cent of students said they lacked guidance from teachers while 35 per cent cited poor internet access. If remote learning continues, more than half (62 per cent) said they need better support to have internet quota.

“As the country begins to ease restrictions, it is critical to prioritize children’s learning – whether in school or remotely,” said UNICEF Representative Debora Comini.  “The most vulnerable children are the hardest hit by school closures, and we know from previous crises that the longer they are out of school, the less likely they are to return.”

In response to COVID-19, UNICEF supports the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) to provide quality learning opportunities while ensuring children’s health and safety both in schools and at home. To date, UNICEF has supported the provision of guidance on learning from home and the compilation of printed learning materials for learning from home activities.

For more results from the poll, go to:

Media contacts

Kinanti Pinta Karana
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Indonesia
Tel: +62 8158805842


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