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Indonesian students love technology—and not just social media, according to new research by Cambridge International, the first ever Global Education Census. The study, released this month, reveals that Indonesian students are among the world’s highest users of technology in education. Indonesian students are also the most eager to become entrepreneurs, compared to their global peers.
The census conducted by leading education organisation Cambridge International — part of the University of Cambridge — is the first comprehensive global study which helps show what life is like in schools around the world today for students aged 12-19 and their teachers. In Indonesia, 502 students and 637 teachers took part in the survey.
The census found that Indonesian students use technology in classrooms more than many other countries, often beating even more developed countries. Indonesian students are the highest globally in their use of IT suites or computer rooms (40%). They are also the second-highest in the world for using desktop computers (54%), behind only the USA.
More than two thirds of Indonesian students (67%) use smartphones in class, and even more use them to do their homework (81%). However, more traditional tools like pen and paper are still regularly used by students in the classroom and at home, and whiteboards are still popular in Indonesian classrooms with 90% of teachers saying they use them. Indonesian students are also nearly tied with the USA for the highest use of laptops to do their homework (84%, compared to 85% in the USA).
This passion for technology may not be a surprise in Indonesia, where the number of internet users reached 143.26 million in 2017, according to the Ministry of Communication and Informatics. But this new census reveals that technology can also be applied in education. Head of Information Technology and Communication Center at the Ministry of Culture and Education, Gatot Pramono, previously stated the importance of technology in education. He said that with the help of technology, teachers and institutions can more efficiently manage materials and focus more on the students’ character-building, and inspiring interest and critical thinking through interactive classrooms. The government is also turning to technology to give more people access to education, through initiatives like online courses.
The Global Education Survey also reveals what Indonesian students want to do after they graduate. The majority (93%) of students said they would like to continue into higher education. Like their peers across the world, many Indonesian students want to become doctors or dentists (26%). However, Indonesian students are the most interested in becoming entrepreneurs globally, with 7% of students saying that is their ideal job.
Technology also features in students’ career and subject choices, with 6% saying they would like to be a software engineer or developer, and 39% said they currently study a Computer Science course. This comes at a time when Indonesia is seeing a vibrant tech start-up ecosystem, with young entrepreneurs pursuing digital innovations in diverse sectors from transportation to finance.
The Global Education Census captures the views of almost 20,000 students and teachers across the world, with a focus on 10 countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, the USA, and Argentina.
Dr Ben Schmidt, Regional Director, Southeast Asia & Pacific of Cambridge International, said: 'As a global leader in education innovation, we feel it is important to really understand how students and teachers live and learn. This census gave insightful, first-hand data about how learning practices and technologies vary globally. It also hints at opportunities for innovation and creativity in learning practices, which is at the heart of our collaboration with local schools around the world.'
'As Indonesian students continue their journey as future thinkers, innovators, and leaders, more integration of technology to support their learning will help prepare them to compete in an evolving global market.'
Partnering with more than 200 schools in Indonesia from Aceh to West Sumbawa, Cambridge International prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning.
Read the Global Education Census 2018 survey report.