The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers around the world, including in Indonesia, to quickly adapt and develop new skills to deliver classes online, while the professional development support they receive has also shifted to the virtual format. As such, online training for teachers surged during the pandemic.
A World Bank report, The Digital Future of Teacher Training in Indonesia: What’s Next? funded by the Australian government, sought to understand the reach of online training for Indonesian teachers, including how the training was perceived by teachers, and whether it was effective. The study’s findings suggest that while many teachers are eager to get online training, access and impacts were uneven, and a number of improvements might enable Indonesia to take more effective advantage of this form of professional development.
The report, which analyzed a phone-based survey that was conducted in February-March 2021 involving 435 primary and junior secondary teachers across 30 different provinces across Indonesia, found that:
There is a great demand for online training for teachers. Around 1.15 million teachers or 44 percent of all primary and junior secondary teachers in Indonesia participated in online learning during the pandemic. Although 75 percent of those teachers said they had never had this sort of training before, 89 percent said they would like to continue receiving it. School closures pushed many teachers to overcome psychological and technical hurdles to participation and forced them to innovate and adapt (Bhardwaj, Yarrow and Cali, 2020). Mobility restrictions increased both the supply of and the demand for online learning opportunities for teachers, which are expected to persist.
Participation and completion of online training for teachers were uneven. Of teachers who did not participate in online training, one-third indicated the reason was their lack of internet access, while another 30 percent did not know about the programs . Completion rates of online learning courses were higher for teachers who live in urban areas (92 percent), who had better internet connections compared to their rural peers (74 percent).