When learning is really distant: Students climb trees and walk for miles for a cell signal


After the girls’ plight caught the attention of the local media, cell service was installed at the village community center. But the signal was weak and they returned to their places on the side of the road, said Teara, a student at Muhammadiyah University in Magelang.

Hilarius Dwi Ari Setiawan, 11, a sixth-grade student in Kenya, did not own a device, so his father, Noor Cahya Dwiwandaru, a farmer, took out a loan to buy a phone for $ 85.

If Mr. Cahya is standing in the right place in the kitchen and holding the phone up, he may get a weak signal. To download the lessons from Hilarius, he stops work and drives his motorbike to the nearby village, where the signal is better.

“The children are stressed by this situation,” said Vincentia Orisa Ratih Prastiwi, the teacher at Hilarius. “Their parents get angry. Their younger brothers and sisters bother them. The video explanation from the teachers is unclear. “

One morning a week, Mrs. Ratih, 27, meets Hilarius and four classmates for face-to-face lessons in one of their homes.

She sympathizes with their difficulties.

“It is difficult to demand help from the government because everyone is facing this pandemic,” she said. “But, if possible, the signal problem here should be solved.”


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