inafu6212-001-2012-3



Case #5: ICT EQEP in Indonesia
By Aries Setiadi

Information and Communication Technology Utilization for Educational Quality Enhancement Program in Indonesia

The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has caused substantial changes for learning and is being used as an integral part for educational innovations in current era and society. Not only at the national level, but ICT is also believed in for supporting the improvement of education at the school level, specifically for the teachers. ICT is bringing about new opportunities for educators, because it can provide powerful support for educational innovations (Zhu Zhiting, 2006).

To support the education sector and the national vision of Indonesia in ICT, The Ministry of Communication and Informatics collaborates with the Provincial Government of Yogyakarta declared the program of the usage of information and communication technology to improve and the quality of education in the province of Yogyakarta in 2010-2012. The program is called Information and Communication Technology Utilization for Educational Quality Enhancement Program (ICT-EQEP). With more into institutional approach, this program is being implemented in 500 schools consisting of 300 primary schools and 200 secondary schools (Tok, Kebermanfaatan Helpdesk ICT EQEP Mulai Dirasakan Sekolah, 2012). The map of schools receiving the program is on this link (http://ict-eqep.com/locations/map_350.html). The program covers provision of ICT equipment, educational contents, and also trainings for teachers to operate the equipment and enhance their capacity on ICT utilization.

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Figure 1: Students in the ICT EQEP classroom. (Source: www.pendidikan-diy.go.id)

There are several key criteria that must be met so that schools can receive ICT-EQEP. The criteria include school readiness of facilities, infrastructure and human resources, and ICT proposals that meet established standards. The infrastructure criteria require the school to be within the area of ICT-EQEP hotspot radio signals. Through ICT-EQEP program, the teachers are provided several trainings including: installingLinux(OpenSuse); backing up and restoring; downgrading Kernel; Virtual Box; Moodle servers and its supporting; Moodle management; Introduction to computer usage in the schools’ computing laboratory. Supported by the trainings, the administrators appointed at each school can utilize the ICT equipment, and also perform repairs or maintenance of the equipment. However, the utilization of the equipment not only is dedicated for the teachers, but also for the students.

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Figure 2: Teachers training. (Source: www.pendidikan-diy.go.id)
Through the trainings, teachers are encouraged to create innovative teaching materials utilizing the ICT. Learning environments and learning tools, the nature of knowledge, and the goals of education are constantly changing (Bereiter, 2002). In line with the evolution of the pedagogy dynamics, the ICT evolves rapidly. Learning becomes increasingly blended, which means that face-to-face instruction is often combined with computer-mediated learning environments (Bonk, Graham, Cross, & Moore, 2006). During the ICT-EQEP program, teachers are demanded to create multimedia teaching materials. The advantage of this approach is that teachers can provide teaching materials that has more connection into the students’ daily life for the example. In the material for mathematics teaching material, the teacher shows equipment that the students can find at their home while introducing them into geometry, for instance, television as example of a cube. It makes the student easier in digesting difficult material as they could relate the content with their own experience.


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Figure 3: Mathematics learning material. Source: Screenshot
Evaluations are conducted through visit to the ICT-EQEP laboratory during the teaching process and focus group discussion with the school involving the principal, the school committee, teachers (as teaching media creators), and managers of ICTLabEQEP in every school. Based on evaluations on October 2012, involving 120 teachers and 2,400 students in various schools, teachers and students were generally helped by the ICT-EQEP(Tok, Hasil Ujicoba Media Pembelajaran : Siswa Tertarik Pembelajaran Berbasis ICT, 2012). Teachers were able to create the class environment more interesting while the students were more engaged to learn the subjects (mathematics, natural sciences, languages, etc) through multimedia materials.


Commentary
The challenge of a project involving ICT in Indonesia is how the school would keep the operational and maintenance of the ICT-EQEP equipment after the support from the Ministry of Communication and Informatics for ICT-EQEP ends, and where the funds would be fulfilled. However, schools could involve the school committee, parents association, and private sector to support the sustainability of the program.

In addition, the government (through the Ministry of Education) provides Bantuan Operasional Sekolah (School Aid Programs) that support operational aid to primary and secondary schools.

In addition, it is also crucial in order to make the teachers able to demonstrate the readiness to facilitate the teaching processes in their own classrooms taking into account that their students might have access and capability into the technology better than the teachers. Other than considering the technical challenges, this technological innovation approach also should meet the needs of the socio-economic and cultural development within the region where the program is implemented. The program should address the main vision of ICT for development, which is providing better quality of education and improving the quality of human capital.

Information and Communication Technology Training for Teachers: a Case Study
Technologies have often been seen as a peril for traditional cultural expressions and as an inhibitor of their protection (Burri-Nenova, 2008). Some people believe that the fast growth and development of technology impedes the traditional cultures. In Indonesia, which consists of more than 250 ethnic groups, it is difficult for primary schools’ teachers to attract their students to learn the traditional language. The causes are varies: the fact that students’ parents mostly no longer speak in traditional language to their children, learning traditional language is perceived old-fashioned, and outdated teaching material provided by the schools. In contrast, since the last decade, English and computerized class has become a standard of good quality of a school in most urban cities in Indonesia. Schools compete to provide their students with updated English based studying materials and the latest high-technological devices.
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Figure 4: yo Sinau Basa Jawa game. (Image Source: Screenshot)


The trend also happened in the Al Azhar elementary school 14 Semarang. In addition, even though 98% of the ethnic groups live in Semarang are Javanese, similar to the recent trend in most of urban centers in Indonesia, bahasa Indonesia is widely spoken. Younger generations are also reluctant to use Javanese language because the traditional language has its own scripts. These factors affect the existence and deployment of Javanese language, especially regarding the introduction of the traditional language to children.

However, the trainings on ICT for teachers have created a success story. One of them is Estu Pitarto, a teacher who created an innovative way for students to learn about the Javanese script. As an elementary school teacher, Estu understood on how to combine a child’s learning typology of audio, visual and the kinesthetic. He believed that combining sound, animation pictures, and computer usage would attract his students to learn the traditional language. Eventually, Estu tried to create an animated simulation game, “Ayo Sinau Basa Jawa”, a Javanese language for “Let’s learn the Javanese Language”.

The simulation game introduces the script along with the histories of the Javanese language. It also has the transliteration and the voice of how to pronounce the language. To evaluate the learning, Estu also put “evaluation” section of what the students has learnt using the puzzle game. The students are asked to match the Javanese script with the transliteration.
There has no direct research on the positive effect of the simulation game on the understanding of the children on the language. However, the simulation game has been acknowledged by The Ministry of Education as the Most Innovative on Innovation on Education in 2011, and also Country Winner of Asia Pacific Microsoft Award for Innovative Teachers in 2012. The awards imply that the simulation game is beneficial in supporting education.


Bibliography

Bonk, C. J., Graham, C. J., Cross, J., & Moore, G. M. (2006). The Handbook of Blended Learning: Global Perspectives, Local Designs. San Fransisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Burri-Nenova, M. (2008). The Long Tail of the Rainbow Serpent: New Technologies and the Protection and Promotion of Traditional Cultural Expressions. SSRN eLibrary , 205. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1140187
Miscellaneous. (2012, November 15). Central Java. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Java
Miscellaneous. (2012, November 15). Salatiga and UKSW. Retrieved from Ohio University: http://www.ohio.edu/cotim/salatiga.html
Tok, M. (2012, October 10). Hasil Ujicoba Media Pembelajaran : Siswa Tertarik Pembelajaran Berbasis ICT. Retrieved from Dikpora Provvinsi DI Yogyakarta: http://www.pendidikan-diy.go.id/?view=v_berita&id_sub=2761
Tok, M. (2012, August 16). Kebermanfaatan Helpdesk ICT EQEP Mulai Dirasakan Sekolah. Retrieved from Dikpora Provinsi DI Yogyakarta: http://www.pendidikan-diy.go.id/?view=v_berita&id_sub=2726
Zhu Zhiting, Y. H. (2006). ICT and Pre-service Teacher Education:Towards an Integrated Approach. Using ICT for Teaching, Learning and Management, 67-75.

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