A new era of Education Technology (or EdTech) comes to make a change in the education sector. As defined by The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), EdTech is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. With the rapid changes happening, educational institutions need to have adequate preparation to adapt to the current situation.
As of now, education in Indonesia is involving technology in daily routine. According to a 2018 research by Cambridge International, Indonesian students are among the world’s highest users of technology in education. The research concluded that Indonesian students use technology in classrooms more than many other countries, with the use of IT suits or computer rooms reaching 40%. Furthermore, Indonesian students are also the second-highest in the world for using desktop computers reaching 50%, behind only the USA.
Indonesia Education System: an Overview
Despite the high number of Indonesian students using technology and internet–accounts for 69% of 171 million internet users in Indonesia, the quality of Indonesian education is still lacking compared to other countries around the world. Indonesia struggles to provide inclusive, high-quality education to its citizens. An analysis by the World Bank showed that Indonesia has much lower literacy levels than those of other Southeast Asian countries, where 55 percent of Indonesian who complete school are illiterate.
According to research done by the World Bank in 2016, there are four main factors that affect the poor quality of education and learning outcomes in Indonesia, such as:
- Government spending on education – although the New Order government invested heavily in expanding the school system during the oil boom, it cut education spending significantly following the collapse of international oil prices in the mid-1980s.
- Quality of Indonesian teachers and lecturers – prior to 2005, most Indonesian teachers had low-level qualifications with less than 40 percent holding a four-year bachelor’s degree, as written by Mae Chu Chang in 2014. At the same time, many teachers lacked the basic subject knowledge and pedagogical skills to be effective educators.
- Reward and incentives system – the reward and incentive system in Indonesia discourage teachers and lecturers from delivering high-quality research. According to a World Bank Policy Research in December 2016, teacher and academic appointments have tended to be made on the basis of loyalty, friendship, and familial connections rather than merit. At the same time, low salaries at both public and private educational institutions have encouraged teachers and academics to take on extra work.
- Poor government management of public educational institutions – in particular excessive government control over their activities. Under the New Order, public educational institutions were formally units within the bureaucracy rather than separate legal entities, in which they had virtually no managerial or financial autonomy.
Indonesia’s Current EdTech Situation
Due to the high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, remote learning and online classes seems to be the most appropriate solution to provide students with education materials – and since the beginning of the pandemic, several EdTech startups have been shown support for study at home policies. Data from Google Trends show that searches for “study from home” experienced a spike, reflecting increased demand for online and remote education. In addition, another indicator is the sharp increase in website traffic and application downloads for the EdTech platform since February 2020, according to the World Bank.
There are four categories in which the Indonesian EdTech sector can be split, namely marketplaces, online class platforms, school management systems, and student loans.
- For marketplaces, EdTech firms in Indonesia offer a wide variety of products and services, targeting different users, including parents, educators, students, educational institutions’ management and corporations, as reported by the World Bank.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education and Culture has announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national exam is canceled, and are now shifting towards online platforms to help the learning process. Local platforms such as Ruangguru, Zenius, and Quipper become the leading EdTech firm in Indonesia that provides interactive e-learning contents for students all across the country.
- Online class platforms are becoming more relevant to Indonesian students these days. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing the school to close, it has also driven the increased interest in online programs offered by education providers. Not only that the existence of these online classes help students to continue their education at home, but also offer services for teachers and parents to help manage the online learning transition.
The increased demand for online learning and online class is driving huge growth of Indonesia’s leading EdTech platforms. The two most popular EdTech products offer learning management systems for teacher-students collaboration and online teaching management, as well as interactive online classroom tools for hosting interactive live teaching sessions, such as G-Suite for Education, Microsoft for Education, and Zoom.
- The growing technology trend in Indonesia demands schools to always innovate, including the school management system. According to research done in 2017 by Indonesia Education University (UPI), ICT-Based School Management System (SMS-ICT) is a management information system that aims to facilitate the learning process in a systematic, comprehensive and effective way. SMS-ICT has the real ability to help school leaders to always be creative and active in taking steps to promote school leadership.
In Indonesia, SMS-ICT has been applied in several schools in Bandung, West Java, as part of the collaboration between Indonesia Education University (UPI) with Bappeda Kota Bandung. In addition, the implementation of SMS-ICT is expected to have various outcomes, such as renewal of school management, control resources, and community feedback.
- The online educational loan segment in Indonesia may not be as big and productive as consumer lending, however, millions of students need assistance to finance their education. According to a report published by Global Business Guide Indonesia, financial problems are the main reason behind Indonesia’s low gross enrollment ratio for tertiary education.
One of the Indonesian startups engaged in this sector is Pintek who provides lending to students from kindergarten up to postgraduate education, as well as those in informal education programs, specifically vocational courses. The startup has collaborated with at least 100 academic institutions, of which 40% are universities or colleges in Indonesia.
That being said, Indonesia has the most dynamic startup landscape. In fact, Indonesia is one of the fastest growing countries for EdTech, which plays an important role in enabling the reach of high-quality education to the masses, according to the World Bank. Given the opportunity to innovate, startup founders should participate and bring in their expertise to shape a new system which hopefully will help teachers in providing appropriate materials for online classes.
BRIGHT Indonesia as a Partner to Help Maximize Your Potential EDTech Product in Indonesia
According to the World Bank Report on EdTech in Indonesia, EdTech can be a bridge to education for the economy of the future, but support is needed and planning is required. Indonesia needs to have a clear vision and strategy for integrating EdTech. Moreover, to improve the teacher’s ability to deliver technology-focused content, the education system could partner with EdTech firms. As the partnership grows, EdTech firms could also help public education to update the content of the national curriculum in technology-related topics and beyond.
Many education systems continue to teach programming languages and use outdated technology, thus becoming irrelevant to the marketplace. EdTech products in Indonesia have the potential to help upgrade the curriculum on these topics, but also can support other topics, such as science, math, critical thinking, and communication skills which are essential to preparing children of Indonesia in the future. However, to maximize the potential of your EDTech product and one thing to note in entering your EDTech Product in Indonesia is important to have the right local partner.
BRIGHT Indonesia is a perfect partner for your company. BRIGHT Indonesia will assist you on the ground, including virtual assistant during the mission, logistic arrangement, and communication of every detail. It can make your company focus on developing partnership cooperation without thinking further about the hassle during the business trip.
BRIGHT Indonesia provides several services such as Business Partnership Engagement, Management and Strategy Consulting, and Foreign Direct Investment Promotion services that can help you in expanding and developing your business, register and establish your products and company, as well as obtain the work and stay permit in Indonesia ((expatriates utilization plan (RPTKA), expatriates utilization permit (IMTA), limited stay permit (KITAS)) easier.
BRIGHT Indonesia always strives to give excellent services designed only to fulfill your company’s needs with experiences in assisting multiple global clients in entering Indonesia and Southeast Asia Market. These collaborations are proof of our unrivaled service.
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