Challenges in the Education Sector During the Pandemic Era, One of the Research Themes Presented by Indonesian Students in the United States at the Bianka 34 Event
Washington, D.C. (05/17) – The Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) in Washington, DC again held the Bincang Karya (Bianka) webinar to explore the potential of doctoral candidates in education from Indonesia.
The Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, Rosan P. Roeslani, on a different occasion said that currently, Indonesia is experiencing a big challenge in the education sector due to the Covid 19 pandemic. However, Ambassador Rosan added, the government continued to strive for education to run even though in the midst of a pandemic.
Ambassador Rosan also said, “The government continues to ensure the implementation of inclusive education for all levels of society. One of them is by giving freedom to each school to use the curriculum according to their needs.”
It was also stated that this policy was in accordance with the fourth point of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where the Indonesian government hoped that the education sector could recover.
Emmanuel Agust Hartanto, Director of Finance and General Affairs of the Indonesia Endowment Funds for Education (LPDP), Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia said, “Education is the key to reducing poverty, accelerating economic growth, achieving gender equality, and also strengthening the quality of human capital.”
Therefore, according to him, Indonesia needed an education and training system to improve the welfare of its citizens. This was to improve human resources in particular to build education reforms and achieve better results, Agust said.
In this activity, three Indonesian students who specifically discussed their latest research were presented. Aziz Awaludin, a doctoral candidate in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison explained, “My research focuses on how urban school districts in the United States develop work plans to create school leaders who promote equality.”
Aziz uses Epistemic Network Analysis (ENA), a new method to map the thinking framework of qualitative data. According to him, racial issues in the United States were so important that this research was very significant in looking at the map of the framework that the district developed.
Doctoral candidate in Teacher Education and School Improvement from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Nanak Hikmatullah, in his presentation said, “My preliminary research focuses on the idea of humanizing technology in the context of online. That is how we can still interact well in an online class as well as in a traditional class (in-person).
Nanak said that in the context of Indonesia, it was hoped that his research would contribute to the development of online learning in higher education in Indonesia to be better and more worth it because so far online learning was considered to have less quality and was less credible.
Meanwhile, Jati Ariati, a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology from Oklahoma State University, explained her research on the experiences of international students in online classes at predominantly white institutions. She said that this study would also look at their sense of belonging.
“This research will help me to design online classes (blended and fully online) that are more inclusive. In the future, it is hoped that this research can be one of the reference indicators in evaluating teaching and learning,” explained Jati.
Also invited to join the event were representatives of the campus where they are continuing their studies, namely Betsy McEneaney, Department Chair of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Matt Laverne, Associate Dean and the Graduate College of Oklahoma State University explaining why Oklahoma University.
Those speakers provided comprehensive explanations of the various programs at each institution and their strengths as well as various sources of funding that international students might get. It also mentioned the possibility of cooperation in education and research between their faculty members and Indonesian students or researchers.
Popy Rufaidah, the Educational and Cultural Attaché at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. explained that the purpose of holding this webinar series was to open up opportunities for collaboration between universities in Indonesia and the United States.
“It is also hoped that the number of Indonesian students who continue their studies in the United States will increase. They can take advantage of the scholarships that the government has provided, such as the LPDP,” said Popy.
The event was a collaboration between KBRI Washington, D.C., the Council of Rectors of the Indonesian State Universities (MRPTNI), and LPDP.
For information, the recording of the live broadcast of the 34th Series BIANKA can be accessed on the official Facebook page of Atdikbud USA with the link https://bit.ly/fb-watch-bianka34