• Center for Indonesian Policy Studies

Newsletter May 2021 | Got Homework? Just ‘Google’ It

Dear readers,


Is it considered cheating if a student searches online for the answers to their homework?


Young people in Indonesia enjoy increasing access to the internet. A quarter of Indonesia’s internet users are children and adolescents. Children are highly engaged on the internet. They use it to communicate, consume and create internet content. They also source information as school closures forced most students to spend the last 12 months in online classes.


While the internet opens a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for learning, it also presents risks to children. Many digital platforms are not designed with children in mind. This exposes them to cyberbullying, harmful content, and even sexual exploitation.


Sadly, perpetrators are able to abuse Indonesia’s low level of digital literacy. The country’s level of education and preparedness to use the internet ranks only 61 out of 100 countries in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index.


Our latest policy brief makes the case that digital literacy should be taught in school curricula. And digital literacy does not only mean the ability to turn on a computer and search for answers to your homework. Advanced digital literacy focuses on critical thinking skills, it enables users to navigate between misleading and credible digital sources, and to be a responsible digital citizen.


May 2nd was National Education Day in Indonesia. At the moment, the internet is still mainly used for accessing social media (92,7%) and for entertainment (70,8%) purposes. Perhaps my initial question should be rephrased to something more pertinent - how can we teach children to use all online opportunities while remaining safe in a digital world?


Before I conclude, let me share that our 2020 Annual Report is out! While it was a tough year, there was growing demand for our expertise. The number of downloads and views of our policy papers and other publications went up from 14,000 in 2019 to more than 135,000 in 2020. Our team managed to provide much needed policy analysis during a climate of great uncertainty. We are proud to have reached new milestones despite the challenges.


Next week, we’ll be taking a well-deserved break during the Eid holidays at the end of the holy fasting month. To our Muslim readers, I wish you a safe and peaceful Eid Mubarak!







Salam hangat,


Rainer Heufers

Executive Director

Center for Indonesian Policy Studies





 

Don't forget to check out and download our policy papers here. Through these papers, we present evidence-based arguments to recommend policy changes that focus on building prosperity and better livelihoods for low-income Indonesians.



 

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