Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for the Education of Children of Indonesian Migrant Workers on the Sebatik Island Border


Schools in border areas are threatened with closure due to the difficulty of organizing learning in the midst of a pandemic. This paper portrays this reality by describing the learning process of a border school (Madrasah Ibtidaiyah Darul Furqon) on Sebatik Island (the Indonesia-Malaysia border) during the COVID-19 pandemic. School is the foundation for the children of Indonesian migrant workers who work in Malaysian oil palm plantations. Therefore, this research applied a case study approach using qualitative research with the unit of analysis being families of Indonesian migrant workers who send their children to border schools. The results showed that learning activities in border schools can be facilitated through both online and offline learning. However, students often cannot attend lessons because of the lack of guidance from parents who are busy working as palm oil workers. Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused student interest to decline and has triggered an increase in school dropouts. Student education during the pandemic is viewed as free time to help parents earn extra income.

Keywords: school, COVID-19, Sebatik, borderland

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