In this essay, I would discuss the ethical business of Ruang Guru as part of making money online in digital life through the star up. The Ruang Guru is the largest education online business in Indonesia. However, I would explain my experience of how they expand their target in our society.

Last week, I received a message from one of Ruang Guru’s employees that they would be providing free
tutoring for our child at school. I was shocked. How did he get my WA number? Of course, he got access to my daughter at school to ask for the parents’ contact number. It is bizarre how the biggest startup companies in Indonesia run their business in the schoolroom.

I said I did not understand the program until finally, the staff asked for my wife’s cellphone number, which is also very strange because it has never been in marketing strategies, ways of communicating, asking for private information without any ethics.

Last year, I blocked a number from the staff of Ruang Guru that kept sending out their various program offers to my daughters through my WA number. Of course, they targeted my children as their prospective students. Not only that, but they also keep sending emails to my email address. I think this target-seeking model is far from ethical and moral in business.

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Ruang Guru is a business startup, not an educational institution. I am not interested in commenting on the success of this country’s young startup business. They are intelligent. I respect their creativity.

My concern is how they can get into the schoolroom. It is said that they have cooperation. I am curious that cooperation is known by the local government, at least by the local authority, officially. A teacher said that there is no cooperation; there is socialization. The way is through free tutoring, which is more of a promotion than sharing knowledge with children. Once the children are interested, they will offer parents a price to take lessons in the Ruang Guru.

Then, how dare they get parental contact from a space that is not free. The schoolroom is a guarded area. Anyone who enters it must get permission from the local authorities. Even at the Puskesmas, if they want to do an injection or vaccination, the school sends a letter to the parents. Whatever it is, there is a letter informing that there is access from outside that wants to enter the schoolroom.

This activity is more about business promotion rather than learning for students. I also do not want to comment on the price offered because  the startup businesses always have a price at the end.

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Even if this is to open the school door to various tutoring in Banda Aceh, then in this city there is not only Ruang Guru, but there are many tutoring institutions, both free and paid, which are managed by young people. This is an unfair business activity.

Therefore, even though it is already well-known, it does not go beyond the basics of ethics in business. Pupils
do not understand. They are asked for their parents’ contact numbers. The sweet smile of the staff in the classroom is charming. Sophisticated equipment as learning offered, of course, will be very interesting for some children. Parents want their children to be the best, the efforts of these staff cannot be faulted. However, to have them enter the classroom, for whatever reason, without the competent authorities’ permission, is very inelegant.

I understand very well that education is now an industry. There are various strategies taken to earn income from the world of education today. I have discussed this through the WEIRD Society concept.

Therefore, when we comment on unethical behavior to a paid tutoring agency, it does not mean that we are
against what they are doing. At least, if they are looking for targets in public places (roads, markets, malls, tourist attractions), but they are “selling” in markets that the system and law have guarded.

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Maybe policymakers and parents do not see this as a problem. However, it becomes a problem if unethical things are allowed to continue, turning into something commonplace. If this happens, the school educational institution will turn into a “market” for anyone to “sell” in it in the name of education.

Then the thesis that says “our school collapsed” will be confirmed. Children from the first day of school, whether owned by the state or private, will be the target market. Therefore, the value of education will not even change the condition of the
community because they are used to very capitalistic conditions. We want our children to be intelligent but lack value and morality. As the latter, we do not teach them through our model.

We expect the younger generation, who have various startups, to emphasize values ​​and morals in business. The internet does not teach us values ​​and morals, but it is in the human soul, not the internet.