Friski Riana, Jakarta – The Association for Education and Teachers (P2G) asked the Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Makarim to cancel the plan to conduct a national assessment amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the reasons is the digital divide, which is the inequalities in technology and digital skills. "20.1 percent of students and 22.8 percent of teachers don't have information and communications technology (ICT) devices, such as mobile phone, computer, and laptop during the distance learning," said Suparno Sastro, member of the P2G Expert Council, in his statement, Thursday, July 29.
The Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry planned to hold a 2021 national assessment in September-October 2021. This consists of Minimum Competency Assessment (AKM), Character Survey, Learning Environment Survey.
Since the assessment must be carried out in places equipped with internet access, Suparno opined it would increase inequality leading to new discrimination for students.
In fact, around 120,000 elementary schools across the archipelago had fewer than 15 packages of computers, and 46,000 of them did not have internet access or even electricity. Not to mention the poor quality of the internet signal in a number of regions.
Suparno added that teachers' competence in blending technology in their teaching or the digital pedagogy was also still low. He argued that this should become the focus of Nadiem Makarim and other related ministries and local governments.
"P2G hopes there will be a grand strategy from the ministry to anticipate and overcome all of these problems. Do not let it result in a demographic disaster that we will have to bear later," he said.