‘It’s fun!’: Underrated TVRI becomes students’ favorite during stay-at-home orders

first_imgMore than 45 million Indonesians students are holed up at home for the rest of the academic year, as schools close to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease.Much like the rest of the world, these children face some of the longest no-school days in history, without much certainty of when it all will end.Some schools in big cities are blessed with better access to technology, allowing them to shift to doing schoolwork online during the quarantine. But most students, especially those who live in rural areas or come from low-income families, are stuck in limbo; some struggle with slow internet, while others can’t even afford it. But a new educational program airing on public broadcaster TVRI might provide a good opportunity for more students across the archipelago to do their schoolwork from home.On Thursday morning at around 7:30 a.m., cousins Bagus, 8, and Nail, 11, are already glued to the television set in their room in Cipete, South Jakarta, while devouring a bowl of warm chicken porridge for breakfast. It has been around a month since their school has closed down, but these days, they still have a reason to wake up early.Read also: Studying from home: Seven online learning platforms for studentsThat morning, they showered early and got ready to study.While their mothers, who work as housemaids, had already gone to do morning chores at their employers’ house, the two children were settled in front of the TV with books and pencils in hand. TVRI was on.Bagus shifted closer to the TV when the program Belajar dari Rumah (Study From Home) started airing at 8.30 a.m. Pak Ridwan, a teacher for grades 1 and 3 who instructed them that day, popped up on-screen wearing traditional Betawi clothes.He said it was math class that day. Soon, colorful triangular animations began outlining real-life objects on the screen.Bagus correctly guessed several names of objects that Pak Ridwan pointed at enthusiastically.“It’s fun! I like studying from TVRI. And there are cartoons, too,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Before Belajar dari Rumah aired, Bagus’ teachers at school would send schoolwork over through his mother’s WhatsApp chats and ask him to snap pictures of the finished task to send back. Once in a while, they would have video conferences with other classmates and teachers.The program had brought some much-needed color into the monotony of their quarantine study routine.“After I finish watching, the program gives us tasks. I will finish it right away and send it to my teacher,” Bagus said. The teacher will then check his work and they will discuss it via WhatsApp.The Belajar dari Rumah program, which began airing on Mondays to give students a change of pace during the COVID-19 quarantine, is the brainchild of the Education and Culture Ministry and is welcomed by many parents and children alike.The program features 30-minute blocks on a certain school lesson for different levels of instruction, beginning at 8 a.m. and finishing at 11 a.m. from Monday to Friday.It covers six groups of instructional levels: kindergarten, grades 1-3, grades 4-6, junior high school, senior high school and a program for parents and teachers.Read also: COVID-19: Central Java students demand ‘creativity’ amid boredom of remote studyingFelicia Lia Oktora, 42, a mother of two from Serpong, South Tangerang, Banten, said her children were also excited about the program. It was the first time they had watched TVRI, having mostly relied on western TV or DVDs for learning activities at home.“They miss school, their friends and teachers […] but they are really excited about studying from home because they can wear their everyday clothes and watch while enjoying breakfast,” Lia told the Post on Thursday.She hopes it will continue beyond the pandemic.The ministry recently announced that the program would air for three months until July.“Belajar dari Rumah is an effort […] to provide education for all during these COVID-19 emergency days,” Education Minister Nadiem Makarim said recently.However, some regions were still unaware that such programs were airing. Cicilia Mamman, a senior high school teacher from Nabire, Papua, said she did not get any information from the local education agency.“We are still struggling to study every day because we generally still use WhatsApp groups and we cannot track all of our students as some of them don’t have smartphones,” she said.“We also can’t do any video-conferencing because of the poor internet reception here.”TVRI acting president director Supriyono said the broadcaster made sure the program aired on 29 local TVRI stations across the country.With the largest coverage nationally, the station can reach more than 78 percent of the Indonesian population — three times higher than any private TV channels.”This is the time for us to once again become the public’s television station, serving students in this emergency situation. Not every household has money or the conditions to provide a stable internet connection,” he told the Post on Thursday.A study from the Indonesian Internet Providers Association shows that 64.8 percent of the total population of 264 million Indonesians were connected to the internet in 2018.The Indonesian Teacher Unions Federation (FSGI) applauded the government’s decision to launch the educational TV program. FSGI deputy secretary-general Satriwan Salim said it would hopefully help students in remote areas that have difficulty with distance learning.“But we have to remember this is only a supplementary material; this is not the main source of learning for students. Teachers must also prepare various materials for students […] Don’t make too many assignments that end up weighing on them,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

Chinese in Canada a target of increased hate during pandemic

first_imgEllen, who asked to be identified by first name only, said the database will guide advocacy to combat racism.”Very lewd, inappropriate and derogatory remarks and gestures, I’ve experienced quite a bit of that, mostly referencing characteristics of being Asian,” she said.”The anticipation of what might happen to me is quite stressful, scary and disturbing.” Vancouver resident Trixie Ling recalls her disgust and anger after a passing stranger taunted her with racial and sexual slurs in early May. Then he spat on her face.”I was feeling a mixture of shock, disgust and sadness that it happened to me,” Ling said in an interview with AFP near the scene. “But I knew I’m not the only one this has happened to.” Hate-mongeringA stone lion statue on the historic gate of Vancouver’s 125-year-old Chinatown was vandalized last week with “China” and “Covid” graffiti.A nearby Chinese cultural center’s windows were also recently vandalized. A mobile police surveillance camera trailer now monitors the area.Canadian singer Bryan Adams, who recorded his biggest hits in Vancouver, inflamed tensions with a tweet blaming COVID-19 on “bat eating, wet animal market selling, virus making greedy bastards.”Wet markets sell fresh food and produce, including farmed animals and wildlife. One such market in Wuhan, China has been identified by the World Health Organization as a possible source or “amplifying setting” of the outbreak.The “Cuts Like a Knife” singer later apologized for the “racist” post.Vancouver church pastor Daniel Louie, who co-organized an online anti-racism town hall in mid-May, said criticism of China’s government must be distinguished from stereotypes about Chinese people.The hate-mongering has also spilled out against people who were mistaken for Chinese or through association, including of Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese descent. ‘Shockingly high’ The ResearchCo poll also found that 24 percent of South Asians reported racist insults. Even Indigenous people reported being targeted.”It’s so shockingly high, I had to go back to the calculations to make sure there was nothing wrong with the numbers,” said pollster Mario Canseco. The survey is considered accurate within 2.5 percent.”There’s this element that comes out blaming an entire ethnicity for what is going on. It should be cause for great concern,” he said.Vancouver resident Dakota Holmes, who is Indigenous, said a man told her to “go back to China” before punching her in the head, leaving Holmes on the ground with bruises after she sneezed from seasonal allergies.”He said all these racial slurs,” Holmes recalled. “I’m Indigenous, not from Asia; he didn’t care.”British Columbia Premier John Horgan condemned the rising acts of hate as “unacceptable,” saying that “racism is a virus” and “hate has no place in our province.”But while political leaders, police and community advocates alike condemned the incidents, others want to see more aggressive preventive action by authorities, such as financial support for organizations serving the Chinese-Canadian community, offering victims mental health services, and backing initiatives to educate witnesses on how best to respond.”I would focus the attention, if someone is being verbally abused, on the victim — not the person harassing them,” Louie advised.Some advocates suggested that the racist incidents are not simply a short-term fad, but that the pandemic is bringing long-standing societal prejudices to the surface.Recalling her assault, Ling said it “lit a fire” in her to speak out.”People are afraid of going outside not because of COVID but because of their skin color,” she said. “It’s important for all of us to do something when you see it happening — to not be ashamed or silent, because if many people speak out, that’s how we fight against racism.”center_img Ling is indeed not alone. From spitting and violent attacks, to verbal assaults and vandalism of Chinese cultural sites, Chinese residents of Canada’s third largest city — who make up 26 percent of its population, according to the last census in 2016 — say they feel increasingly unsafe and unwelcome.A new survey obtained by AFP suggests the problem is deeply rooted: one in four British Columbians of Asian descent (70 percent of whom are Chinese) said someone in their household had been targeted with “racial slurs or insults” since March, according to the ResearchCo poll of 1,600 adults.Vancouver police are also investigating 29 anti-Asian incidents over the past two months, seven times more than the same period last year, the police chief revealed.Another Vancouverite who experienced racism during the pandemic helped launch an online reporting form for others to share their experiences anonymously.  Topics :last_img read more