One of the barriers to online learning in Indonesia has been internet access for many less privileged students. While the government has set aside a budget to subsidize mobile data for students, it looks like it wants to equip students with the devices needed for online learning.
Today, Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto motioned during a government meeting for the purchase of affordable tablets for students on top of the mobile data subsidy.
“IDR7.2 trillion (US$490,7 million) has been set aside for the mobile data subsidy, and one program we’re looking at is the procurement of cheap tablets for the public,” Airlangga said.
“We know that the mobile data subsidy would go towards parents’ [mobile internet plans], so [the tablet procurement program] solves that problem.”
Airlangga noted that the government is preparing details about the possible tablet subsidy, which should outline who will be eligible for the program.
Many Indonesians are not equipped with adequate internet access, as many low-income families can barely afford to pay for internet data. Stories of people supporting each other to get by in this trying time are becoming more common, such as a café in the East Java capital of Surabaya that is providing free wifi and hot tea for students doing online learning at their shop.
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