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The Effects of COVID-19 on Our Sponsored Students

  • 2020/07/29

Since Covid-19 was declared as a pandemic, everyone in the world has been affected by the disease, not only those who contracted the illness, but also to many aspects of human life around the globe. Indonesia, particularly Bali, is no exception. The local education sector is also greatly affected by this pandemic, which becomes a big challenge for YKIP as well as the beneficiaries of YKIP's programs.

Schools are closed

Since the second week of March, all educational institutions including schools, universities, and colleges in Bali have been closed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. This closure significantly affects our sponsored students of all programs. There are 424 students in the KEMBALI program, 7 students in Vocational programs, 2 students in University program as well as 19 students in the KIDS program who cannot study at their educational institutions.  

The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Indonesia then instructed all students to study remotely under the supervision of their respective schools. While the instruction seems fine, it has raised other issues for YKIP sponsored students: not all students have the tools to access online learning materials such as computers or smartphones. For instance, one of the students has to go to his friend nearby to get the assignment sent through WhatsApp by their teacher.   

 Then the second problem appears. Internet availability is not for everyone in the program. Some students live in places with a very poor internet connection. They struggle to get connected and do the assignments. Other students who live in places with good internet connection also encounter a different problem. The Internet is not free, and they need to buy an internet package to study online, meanwhile, their parents’ incomes have been decreasing. Hence, this situation is very challenging for our students and their families.

Limitation in studying online 

YKIP sponsored students who are not used to study online find that online study is very different. For them, it is much more difficult to learn online since they cannot have direct interaction with their teachers. Moreover, they cannot discuss and ask for peers who help when learning some difficult subjects. Therefore, they find that materials such as maths, physics, and chemistry are getting harder to understand. They are also concerning the numerous tasks that they must submit during this learning-from-home period.

The pandemic has made training places stop operating, thus students in our program who should do on the job training could not continue their program. Students then are back to study online at home and prepare their reports on the training that they had done.

Things are more complicated for our students in the university especially the last-semester students who need to complete their thesis to graduate. They find that preparing the thesis with virtual thesis supervision is challenging as they must schedule their virtual meeting with their advisor. Virtual meeting often leads to misinterpretation; therefore, the process becomes much more time consuming for the students, not to mention the extra expense they must spend on the internet.

“I realized that this situation is hard for my family. Studying online gives more burden to my parents as they must pay for internet data. Although their income is not that much, I am grateful that they still can afford it. This condition will not stop me from studying. The situation is hard, but I will study harder.” Sana, one of the sponsored students in Bangli said.

The students’ determination to study make YKIP is proud of them. Despite the hard conditions, they are still doing their best to study. We hope that this pandemic ends soon so that the students in YKIP programs will be able to go back to school.

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