SO far, we have eye-witnessed web-con-minded people all over the world. Many people have been active in conferences by online mode. Faculties, researchers, teachers, students, and many others have been engrossed with it. Not only do the academics but also some social associations, even the groups of the same hobbies have held the web-cons. But, mostly—even all--are free: no fee at all.
Web-cons can be a good tool. It is good to unite the ideas of the fellow researchers, academics, faculties, teachers around the world. Many people get involved in it. It is a good means of making the scientists all over the world united. They can share their experiences. They can exchange their ideas. The first time I held a web-con is the ASEAN international conference. It was held by A Community of ASEAN researchers and Educators (CARE) on June 16. Second, we held it on June 20. And, I still have many others in July and August.
All of them are free for all the participants. If we hold a web-con with the fee, it will be usually only to pay the certificate for those who need it. But, again, mostly are free. This is a new phenomenon. A new normal: everything is free. We can get a free course anytime from anywhere. Even, we can get a very good course for free. There are many links for getting this free course.
Some of my colleagues have communicated with me that this era is good for personal branding. We don’t know when this phenomenon ends. If all educational services are free, we don’t need schools anymore. We don’t’ need universities anymore. We don’t need colleges anymore. Services in education seem to be very cheap. It is not only cheap, but no price at all. It is really free. What’s next?
Working from home (WFH) has been done. School teachers and college faculties have been used to doing online courses. I also have done all my classes online from home. We have got used to WFH. This is a new normal: the new habit of doing things at home. WFH can also make the schools or colleges more efficient. They don’t’ have to spend more money for waters, electricity, transportation, papers, and many others. But, it has a negative side effect for those who work in outsourcing-basis. The janitors and all the blue collars working in offices and campuses are not employed anymore. They have lost their jobs.
In tackling this tragic phenomenon, we need creativity. Though, up to now, it is still difficult to create something new: something that is more lucrative. Otherwise, it will lead to a big probem: making people stressful. People without their basic needs will lead to more dangerous situation.
In my country, some regions are getting more and more “normal”. Yet, the Covid 19 outbreak is still going on. Even, we find it the second outbreak. When I travelled to the mountainous regions, I saw people get busy with their kiosk, stores, and vendors. Most of them are the “small” people struggling for their next lives.
I, myself, still get scared of being infected by the covid 19. So, I still have to follow the protocol: wearing a mask, keeping distance when meeting people in public. Even, when I arrive at home, I always directly go to the bathroom: taking a bath and changing the clothes.
All the national leaders should organize the people totally. Having a uniform of policy making will lead to success. Unfortunately, the country with variety of people and their characters make it difficult to unite. We have seen this phenomenon globally. To make everything uniform is really a difficult problem.
Above all, we just wait for the exact decision, especially in ASEAN, when will we get back to schools or colleges? When will all the businesses get normal again as usual? When there is no clear answer, this condition is even more dangerous than the “real problem” we have to combat.
Dr. Djuwari is an Associate Professor and the Director of Language Laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, the editor of some research journals in the Philippines and Indonesia. He is also a journalist in some newspapers in Indonesia; the President of International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER).
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