Yogyakarta, June 19th, 2020 - The Indonesian government has rolled out the "New Normal" discourse to encourage its society to do their routines with strict health protocol, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. To look deeper into how two important aspects of society's lives, namely the economic and educational aspects, can still run in the "New Normal" era, Center for Digital Society (CfDS) held its 17th series of Difussion, which was filled by two CfDS researchers, Mira Ardhya Paramastri and Samuel Giovanno Johannes. The event, which was carried out through the Zoom and YouTube livestream platform, was held on Friday (19/06).
Going Cashless in the New Normal: Challenges for Indonesia’s SMEs
The popularity of 'cashless transactions' also peaked as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed. This increase occurred considering the 'cashless' transaction model can reduce physical contact point through the cash transfer activity, with various other convenient features offered. With internet users in Indonesia developing every year, this trend is seen as positive - especially for MSMEs on helping the country's economic growth. Although cyber security and digital literacy are still poised to be the main challenges, Mira believes that there are three reasons why 'cashless' transactions are still difficult to be adopted by SMEs in Indonesia. Digital disparity factors such as location, material limitations, and uneven internet access are the main reasons for the difficulty of changing the transaction model of the Indonesian people. Second, many MSMEs still think that the 'cashless' transaction adds financial burden with additional costs such as balance refill fee, not to mention the perception of saving in the digital platform which is seen as a luxury thing. Although there are SMEs that are able to make the transition to 'cashless' transactions, the lack of trust in technology also creates its own challenges in the transition to the 'cashless' transaction model. "Training alone is not enough to foster SMEs’s level of technological adoption, but the government should focus on the grassroots approach in the application of the 'cashless' transaction," concluded Mira.
E-Learning Method: A Worthy Substitute for Traditional Learning Methods in the Pandemic Era?
Emphasizing on the aspects of openness and flexibility makes e-learning a breakthrough that facilitates the dynamics of teaching and learning activities during the "New Normal" condition. Nevertheless, there are some complaints ranging from the extravagant use of internet quota, poor signal, to the inadequate curriculum that makes e-learning unable to be implemented equally in Indonesia. Not only Indonesia, Samuel explained that developed country like United States also experienced obstacles in implementing e-learning, such as lack of student participation, poor learning outcomes, and lack of social interaction that can cause mental health disorders. Samuel also believes that there are at least two things that can be applied by the Indonesian government in developing e-learning. "First, the type of learning undertaken should be “blended". Second, the government must develop a new curriculum that takes existing e-learning dimensions into account, such as the pedagogical, technological, interface design, evaluation mechanisms, and class management dimensions," said Samuel.