Covid-19 pandemic brings about some negative impacts on West Papua. This pandemic changes the local people’s way of life, including in the education sector. Papuan students need to adapt to the new education system.
During pandemic, the government instructs the students to have online learning at home. For more than a year, the students need to cope with the new system. This article explains the changes and the challenges of the system in education in West Papua.
The Changes of Education System
It has been a year, but the Covid-19 pandemic affects education in West Papua. As the spread of Coronavirus increases, the education system in this eastern province also changes. The online learning is one of the preventive ways to prevent the spread of virus.
To keep the learning process going on, the teachers use various gadgets, apps, and internet connections. They meet the students and teach them through virtual meetings. Amidst a lack of internet connection, the teachers work hard and innovate the teaching methods to facilitate the students to study well.
The pandemic situation creates some challenges in education in West Papua. Here are some challenges the teachers and the students face.
The teachers and students in West Papua face the challenge when it comes to electricity. As many of them live in remote areas, the access of the electricity has not reached their places.
The teachers couldn’t teach online as in some areas in this province because there is no electricity. Therefore, they will visit the students’ houses to assign some tasks to do. After one or two weeks, the teacher will revisit their house and ask for the assignments to be submitted. The teachers still use this method during the pandemic.
A lack of internet connection
Another challenge the Papuan teachers and students face is a lack of internet connection. The use of the internet enables the students to receive the online teaching and learning. Yet, some areas in some regencies in West Papua still have trouble with internet access. Some internet networks are low in access or even disconnected.
Besides a lack of internet connection, the teachers and students need to facilitate themselves with internet quota. Therefore, the government cooperates with mobile telecommunications services operators to provide the teachers and the students with a free internet quota to make the learning process go smoothly.
Limited digital infrastructure
Teaching and learning during the Covid-19 pandemic are not easy. The teachers and students in West Papua need to adapt to the situation. When the teachers and students meet in virtual meetings, they need to have digital infrastructures like smartphones, personal computers, or laptops with internet connections. The process of teaching and learning will meet some obstacles if the digital infrastructure needed are not available to support education in West Papua.
The system of education in West Papua during pandemic requires the teachers to teach online. As a result that the students start to get bored. The students find the online learning tiring. As a result, many students often miss the virtual class and they don’t submit the assignments given by the teachers.
To avoid this, the teachers will try to create more fun online teaching-learning methods. The purpose is to make the students more engaged and focus on the lesson. Besides using more free online apps to support their teaching, they also visit the student’s houses to interact with the students.
In conclusion, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the system of education in West Papua. Within a year, they also face some challenges. Despite the difficulties they face during the process of online teaching and learning, they need to adapt. With this hope, the students in West Papua can come back and study at school.