Kalvin Sandabunga

Jakarta, Indonesia

Hello Monashians. My name is Kalvin Sandabunga and I completed my Master of Education specialising in Expert Teaching Practice in 2018. Currently, I am working at Sekolah Dian Harapan, Yayasan Pendidikan Pelita Harapan, Indonesia, as a curriculum coordinator and teacher trainer.

Starting from mid-March 2020, our students and teachers must study and work from home. At first, it was very confusing and uncertain. Many parents complained that they found it difficult assisting and teaching their children at home. Certainly, parents weren’t the only people challenged during this time. Teachers were working longer hours adapting lessons to the technology, ensuring students were actually attending virtual classes, and staying up late to create instructional videos. This is our job as educators.

Some of us were familiar with online teaching from studying at Monash. However, this has had a major impact on education in Indonesia. In the recent past, virtual meetings were used at university but not at primary or secondary schools. Now we have virtual management meetings, virtual classrooms, virtual field trips, virtual school orientations, and even virtual flag ceremonies. We rely on most of our activities virtually!

It’s all been a big change and there are still things to be grateful for. While working from home, I think I’ve improved my cooking skills because I need to cook for myself more. It’s healthier and more economical to cook your own food, isn't it? I remember the last time I cooked my own meal was when I was at Monash.

Even though work time becomes erratic when working from home, it gives me more time to call my family and arrange virtual reunions with friends. During this pandemic the disruptions have to some extent revitalised education in Indonesia and new policies have been created to support the needs of educators and students. Well, I call it a blessing in disguise.