Cities Turn to Online Learning to Prevent Covid-19 Spreading Among Students
Jakarta. More cities and provinces now follow Jakarta's step to shut down schools in an attempt to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in their region.
Bogor, a West Java city of 1.1 million people just 60 kilometers to the south of Jakarta, said pre-school, elementary, and junior high school students would be studying at home for the next two weeks starting on Monday.
Fahkrudin, the head of Bogor's education department, said at the moment the city faced difficulty with providing adequate face masks and antiseptic liquid for the schools.
"Prevention protocols dictate we must provide protective equipment at the schools. But this time, it is still difficult to obtain," Fahkrudin said.
"So we consider it would be better for the student to be at home in efforts to prevent the spread of the virus," he said.
Bogor's neighbor Depok also decided to close all schools, from kindergarten to high schools and vocational schools, and replaced the school activities with home learning activities from March 16 to March 28. The Depok's education department also asked the schools to postpone education competition, study tours, or other extracurricular activities.
Also, Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini decided on Sunday to take time out of teaching and learning activities in schools up to junior high level.
The governors also back up decisions taken by their cities.
In West Java, Indonesia's most populous province with 49 million people, students would also study at home for two weeks, Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Sunday. "Students will be able to receive instruction from their teacher remotely using an online system," Ridwan said.
Banten Governor Wahidin Halim declared a health emergency on Saturday after four of its residents tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease. All high school students in Banten would study at home, except for those who prepare for their final exam, Wahidin said.
Meanwhile, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said on Saturday that the province suspended teaching activities at all levels of educations, except for those who would be facing the final exam next week.
"Those who are not taking exams, will not go to schools and should take an online course," Ganjar said.
The governor said he was also discussing with universities in the province to close down their campus temporarily. The University of Indonesia in Depok and Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta have replaced their class activities with online distance learning.
No Shortage of Online Courses
Ruangguru, an Indonesian online learning platform, announced on Saturday that it would open access to its interactive online courses for free to all students in Indonesia. Starting on Monday, the live course sessions would be available from 08:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. every day, said Belva Devara, Ruangguru's co-founder and chief executive in a video announcement.
"We know that many schools have been restricted or even closed down, disrupting students' learning activities," said Belva, who is also one of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's "millennial advisors."
"So, we decided to open free live online courses for all Indonesian students," he said.
Last year, Ruangguru's rival Zenius had also made all of its content available for free to the students of more than 148,000 elementary schools, 38,900 junior high schools, and 13,400 senior high schools across Indonesia.