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For almost 6 months already, students are learning from home. Schools and universities are closed for regular teaching and learning activities. The Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) of Indonesia has released rules and regulations regarding the learning from home method, both for curriculum and learning process which are adjusted to the different needs of different locations. Challenges and obstacles are happening along the way, which require effective and practical solution.

On August 27, 2020 at 14.00-16.00 (GMT+7) SEAMOLEC hosted a national webinar entitled “Challenges of Distance Learning in the Era of New Normal”. This event aimed to inspire the educational stakeholders in Indonesia, such as teachers, office of local MoEC, policy makers, schools, and parents as the subjects of learning from home method. By participating in this webinar participants were expected to gain inspiration on how distance learning can be conducted aligned with student-centered method and approach.

This webinar invited 3 resource persons:

  1. Praptono, M.Ed., Director of Teacher and Education Personnel for Secondary and Special Education, MoEC, who presented about “Learning from Home Policy in the Era of New Normal.”
  2. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus, Ph.D., Rector of Universitas Terbuka, who presented about “Best Practices of Distance Learning in Higher Education in the Era of New Normal.”
  3. Alpha Amirrachman, M.Phil, Ph.D., Director of SEAMOLEC, who presented about “Challenges of Character Education through Distance Learning in the Era of New Normal.”

On his session, Dr. Praptono mentioned several challenges and obstacles faced by the teachers, students, and parents during the learning from home activities, as well as presented initiatives and solutions offered by the MoEC. He also shared about strategies which will simplify teaching and learning process in this new normal era. Some examples are the application of emergency curriculum, modules for teachers and activity-based learning. The first and foremost principle is to prioritize the health and safety of school residents as well as the wellbeing and growth of students.

Prof. Ojat Darojat shared about experience of UT as a higher education institution which have been applying distance learning for 36 years. Even long before distance learning become popular and needed as it is today. One of the main solutions explained by Prof. Ojat through the good practices of UT is that the mandatory to use modular printed learning materials which allows students to do self-learning. Technology and other facilities will be the enhancer. UT has applied this system in its learning centers nationally and internationally.

The last session was delivered by SEAMOLEC Director, Dr. Alpha Amirrachman. He opened his materials by explaining that the Covid-19 Pandemic has accelerated the global changes in both education and work field. The focus of his presentation is about character education taught in distance learning during the pandemic. Usually students imitate and set teachers as examples of good character during the class interaction. But this time, the special strategy to build students’ characters need to be created. He also addressed some practical activities to be implemented by integrating it with distance learning.

At the end of the event, a question and answer session was held where participants could address questions to each resource person. The webinar was participated by around 650 participants live on SEAMOLEC official YouTube account. Presentation materials of resource persons and guidance on how to download the e-certificate can be accessed through this link: https://bit.ly/seamolec_smiles3, and the recorded webinar session can be viewed through this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/prmseamolec. The event was closed at 16.00 hrs sharp.

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