GovTech Edu @ Telkom Indonesia

Who are we?

GovTech Edu
GovTech Edu
6 min readNov 3, 2021


We are a group of 400+ professionals with diverse backgrounds, ranging from tech to educators to public policy. What unites us is our shared passion for delivering positive changes to society.

Most of our talents came from tech unicorns and decacorns such as Gojek, Grab, Bukalapak, Traveloka, Tokopedia, and OVO; and top organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and Kantor Staf Presiden. Most importantly, all joined this initiative because we yearn to make delightful and irreversibly long-lasting impacts on GovTech and public sector education.

Interviewing school admin staff in East Kupang, NTT. (Before COVID-19)

Why do we assemble such a large team?

Our mission is to create long-lasting permanent change in Indonesia’s education by closely intertwining tech and policy executions. This mission is especially critical in the post-pandemic world, where the threat of learning loss for millions of school children and teachers looms large.

We approach this mission by bringing our prior experience building large-scale customer-centric tech products in various unicorn companies. We have seen first-hand how tech can deliver tons of positive impacts to millions of users. This experience fuels our belief that we can accelerate positive changes to Indonesia’s public sector education by building high-quality tech products directly with the government.

Conducting low-fidelity usability tests with teachers in rural Lampung. (Before COVID-19)

How do we work together?

We organize our 400+ person team after the tribes and squads models commonly found in tech startups. We have multiple product engineering tribes, with cross-functional product/engineering/data/design squads supported by policy and regulatory analysts dedicated to the tribe.

In addition to the product engineering tribes, we also have a platform engineering tribe focusing on building data warehouses, pipelines, CI/CD/test automation, infosec, and cloud devops. We build and operate in the cloud using modern techs such as k8s, Golang, BigQuery, NewRelic, and CloudSQL. All these combined secure the scalability and reliability we need to serve the projected 1–2 million DAUs within the next 12 months.

To ensure our continuous iterations align with their vision, we have regular and frequent sync with stakeholders within the government, chiefly within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology. We also worked with various stakeholders to coordinate product launches, both large-scale and iterative.

Within this framework of collaboration, our stakeholders understand that to effectively solve problems through tech, the users of the products themselves should drive the shape of our products. They recognize that the product must continuously go through user-centric iterations and data-driven experiments instead of top-down directives.

Introduction to Design Thinking workshop to teachers in Bali

What are we working on?

We plan to create long-lasting permanent change in Indonesia’s education through tackling various problem areas that support our mission:

  • We believe empowering teachers to be agents of change and continuously improve their teaching skills is one of the most under-served problem areas in Indonesia’s education.
  • We want to empower higher education students and enable them to enrich their business/industrial/scientific experiences outside of their campuses and improve their employability through certified internships or independent studies.
  • We envision empowering schools to utilize their budget more effectively will triple the impact of the 50 Trillion IDR annual government subsidies to 200.000 schools across the nation.

Each problem area could be as large as a commercial unicorn by itself in terms of planned transaction volume, user base, or traffic. As a purely mission-driven organization, we can focus on maximizing user impact rather than revenue and design a synergistic ecosystem that complements instead of competing with each other. The result is a unified platform that enables a more comprehensive offering of features and experience to teachers and schools all over Indonesia.

These synergies will unlock fantastic possibilities in the future. For example, teachers who need access to paid learning materials can send a request through their super-app to a different platform that manages government subsidies for their school. The school principal can then seamlessly authorize using those subsidies to pay for better learning materials for their students.

However, before reaching that fantastic future, we need to lay down the building blocks first. We are starting with several streams of products in active development to support all the above visions, with rollouts starting from Q4 2021. Here is a selected subset of them:

Merdeka Mengajar Super-App

Merdeka MengajarBETA will be the backbone super-app for more than 5 million teachers in amplifying their teaching through equipping them with microlearning features, student assessment tools, teaching toolkit marketplace, as well as an integrated career development platform. We believe teachers are the most oversized fulcrum for change in reaching the 24 million students all over Indonesia.

We design the Android app with modularity and efficiency in mind. Unlike most commercial apps, we also need to serve users in rural areas across Indonesia. Thus the app is built from the ground up with solid offline usability in mind and an efficient low-bandwidth and low-memory footprint that caters to low-end devices.


SIPLah (Sistem Informasi Pengadaan Sekolah) and ARKAS (Aplikasi Rencana Kerja Anggaran Sekolah) are the primary means for schools to utilize their 50T IDR annual government subsidies. Today, tens of trillions of IDR are unused every year since schools are often drowned by piles of admin works related to accountabilities in deploying this budget subsidy. We believe removing these burdens will lower the friction for schools in utilizing their budget.

To that tune, we are working to make SIPLah as low friction as major e-commerce platforms in procuring goods and services for schools. We are also working on automating large degrees of paperwork and reporting through ARKAS so that schools can prepare and execute their annual budget more effectively.

Where do we work?

We are part of the Telkom Group, one of Indonesia’s highest-valued, (>26B USD) most profitable, (>135T IDR annual revenue) and best tech company to work on. (Ranked #1 in Indonesia and #299 Globally by Forbes World’s Best Employers 2021)

As a state-owned enterprise, part of Telkom’s mission is to impact societies across Indonesia positively. This strong mission statement makes Telkom the perfect place to build and scale mission-driven GovTech teams.

We formed our team right in the middle of a global pandemic. Hence we were born in a world where productive remote work has become the norm rather than the exception. We intend to preserve this way of working even after the pandemic ends. Our team’s management is therefore committing to support 100% WFH for every employee within our team.