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AmCham Education Committee: Lessons from COVID-19
January 29, 2021 | by AmCham Webmaster

“We want to thrive, not only to survive,” was the message Tarek Razik, head of Jakarta Intercultural School, gave AmCham Indonesia’s Education and Workforce Development Committee yesterday, Jan 28.

The committee’s opening meeting of the year brought together three speakers, two heads of school – Tarek and Garth Wyncoll of Bali Island School and one parents’ representative – Nina Handoko Widodo, to discuss the future of education in Indonesia. The committee will focus on this topic in 2021 and hold a number of related meetings.

Schools and education providers are facing increased uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the December/January holiday period, there was some hope schools would receive the green light to reopen in January. But the steep rise in COVID-19 cases has reversed that plan and education providers are having to continue online learning. 

Despite the far from ideal learning situation, Garth said he appreciates all educators’ efforts in adjusting to the situation, including looking for new ways to deliver lessons effectively online. He said the greatest challenge is with primary students, and one of the ways he has found effective is to continue dialogue with parents to monitor the effectiveness of current methods used by the school.

Nina agreed, saying that teachers are becoming better at familiarizing themselves with teaching technology.

“To make this work, parents also need to change their mindset, it should not be ‘I already paid the tuition fee, so the school should be the one responsible solely for my children’s education,’” she said.

She added that parents and teachers need to work together because parents know their children best. In her opinion, there are three things to be considered to increase the value of online learning through a better parent/school relationship – communication, consistency, and collaboration.

At the end of the session, committee co-chairs Karl Keuroghlian and Shawn Hutchinson shared their plans for 2021, and participants were encouraged to offer feedback and suggestions for future events. 

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