Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 pandemic, which has lasted for nearly two years, has broadened the variety of learning methods, and this is expected to increase student independence, according to the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry.

“The pandemic offered a lot of lessons, including on the way students learn. Learning does not always have to be done face-to-face, but there are other learning alternatives which can (support) the existing learning methods,” director of community education and special education at the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry, Dr. Samto, said during a visit to Yogyakarta 8 Middle School on Monday.

Although the online learning system implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic had its weaknesses, it also brought positive effects as it pushed students to become independent in understanding materials.

Additionally, students' mastery of information technology also increased because studies were done online, he noted.

"Currently, Yogyakarta city has implemented 100-percent face-to-face learning, but if it is (coupled) with online learning, it will provide (better) results for certain," he said.

Thus, the decline in the quality of education, which was seen over the course of the pandemic, can be addressed quickly.

He lauded the learning programs conducted by Yogyakarta city during the pandemic, which remained benchmarks for national education.

“The learning (process) is conducted in a strict manner, including when there are restrictions on face-to-face learning. Students' achievements can still be maintained. Obviously, Yogyakarta is a good example in education," Samto said.

Meanwhile, the principal of Yogyakarta 8 Middle School, Retna Wuryaningsih, said she was grateful that the school could conduct face-to-face learning at full capacity.

“Indeed, there has been a decline in the quality of education, grades have dropped. However, this condition does not only happen in Yogyakarta 8 Middle School, but also in other junior high schools in Yogyakarta," she informed, adding there was no decline in her school ranking.

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She opined that there were several obstacles to online learning, such as parents’ inability to provide complete facilities and difficulty in teaching some materials that are best taught in person.

The principal said that the school will follow the capacity rules pertaining to face-to-face learning.

She advised offering encouragement and motivation during face-to-face learning so that students can catch up with learning materials.

“Soon, there will be a regional assessment. I hope the results will be good," she remarked.

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Translator: Eka Arifa R, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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