Startup Alef Education Gives Free Learning Access to Thousand Students
For this reason, education startup from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Alef Education provides online learning services to 500 thousand madrasa students for free for six months.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many schools in Indonesia to carry out online learning activities.
“We provide free access to learning services to 500 thousand madrasah students under the auspices of the Ministry of Religion (Kemenag),” said Indonesia Implementation Manager, Alef Education Juvetius Suhartono in a virtual press conference, Wednesday (14/7).
The free services provided are in the form of a learning platform containing various features, as well as materials and questions packaged with videos. In addition, there are also games, task features, end-of-chapter reviews, feedback for student assessments, to data analysis.
Alef also relies on artificial intelligence (AI) technology on the platform. Juventius said the Alef Education platform could also be used for teachers and schools.
Among them to provide learning materials and questions integrated in one platform. Alef can also be used for students to study online at home or in class.
Will Increase Coverage of Materials and Services
For the initial stage, the Alef platform only contains learning materials for grade 7 students. In the future, Juvetius explained that the company plans to increase the scope of the material to its services.
Alef Education COO Nadir Zafar sees great potential for the use of digital platforms in the education sector. For this reason, the company collaborates with the Ministry of Religion to make it easier for students and teachers to hold online learning in the current pandemic era.
“We want to help more students and schools,” said Nadir. The Director-General of Islamic Education (Dirjen Pendis) of the Ministry of Religion Muhammad Ali Ramdhani also said that the Covid-19 pandemic was a challenge for the 10 million students under the guidance of the Ministry of Religion.
“They must continue to study even at home,” he said. Based on data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, last year there were tens of millions of students who conducted learning at home using the distance learning method.
There are at least 68,729,037 students who study at home. Elementary School/Madrasah Ibtidaiah/equivalent students mostly follow the home-study method, namely 28,587,688 students who study distance.
Meanwhile for Junior High School/Madrasah Tsanawiyah/equivalent followed by 13,086,424 students studying at home.
Based on data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in July last year, the use of online learning applications has also increased in ASEAN due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Nadiem Admits Difficulties in Managing Education in the Midst of a Pandemic
Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Mendikbudristek) Nadiem Makarim confided about the management of education in the midst of the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nadiem admits that it is difficult because the challenges of managing education are increasing due to the pandemic.
“Education is indeed a very difficult challenge, plus a pandemic, so there is an element of crisis, so it is called wartime,” said Nadiem in the 2021 Edukreator Academy webinar, Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
According to him, the difficulties faced during his tenure as a minister were new. Nadiem said that facing a crisis situation as it is today feels more difficult as a minister, than being the boss of a large startup company, Gojek.
“There are business wars and pandemics. And fighting our backwardness in the education aspect is different. So it’s very difficult,” he said.
Luckily, he said, his staff at Kemendikbudristek currently have solid strength. It is committed to continuing to make breakthroughs in the world of education.
“For me and the team, the courage and ability to do the best for the future of our generation is a fixed price for our generation,” he continued.