“What’s next for schools?” That was the question explored during AmCham Indonesia’s latest Education Forum, held via Zoom on May 7.
Totok Soefijanto, Senior Policy Advisor in the Jakarta Governor’s Office, and senior leaders from four international schools in Jakarta discussed the prospects for blended and in-person learning, reaching the consensus that the wellbeing of students and teachers is the top priority, and that correct use of technology is crucial as schools look at a hybrid of online and in-school learning for the next term.
Totok told the 80 or so participants that in dealing with the new education reality we should be more adventurous and sophisticated in the use of technology, but that should not place increased workloads on teachers as they juggle virtual and in-person classes. Student well-being remains the key goal of learning.
Tarek Razik, Head of School, Jakarta Intercultural School; Shawn Hutchinson, Head of School, ACG School Jakarta; David Butcher, Principal, British School Jakarta; and Manish Semwal Kumar, Academic Specialist, Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School all spoke of the challenges they faced during the pandemic. But they were all optimistically looking ahead, agreeing it was time to adapt and improve education, with technology a major factor.
It was also agreed that in terms of student wellbeing and development, it was vital to get children back in the classroom, socially interacting again after such a long period of isolation. But only when it is safe to do so, adhering to government regulations and following strict health protocols.