In person learning resumes at a state elementary school in Kalisari, East Jakarta on August 30, 2021 after nearly two years of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Joanito De Saojoao)

Gov’t Clarifies Reports of 2.8 Pct Schools Becoming Covid Clusters

BY :MARIA FATIMA BONA

SEPTEMBER 25, 2021

Jakarta. The government recently clarified the reports of 1,296 schools nationwide turning into Covid-19 clusters from in-person learning, by saying that there had been several misperceptions of the data.

Earlier, the Education Ministry announced in a press release that about 1,296 schools became Covid-19 clusters since the pandemic dawned last year. This figure is relatively low and only accounts for 2.8 percent of the 46,580 schools that have reopened their doors in a limited capacity.

Jumeri —the Education Ministry’s director general for early childhood, primary and secondary education— later confirmed on Friday that the 2.8 percent figure did not refer to Covid-19 clusters. Instead, it was the number of schools who reported via the Education Ministry’s app that someone from within its community —be it a student, teacher, or staff— had caught Covid-19.

"We need to clarify and re-explain the misperceptions that have occured," Jumeri told a virtual conference

"So once again, it is not Covid-19 clusters," he said. 

According to Jumeri, it is uncertain that the virus transmission occurs at schools that are holding offline classes. The ministry collected the data from its survey which gained responses from 46,500 schools regardless of their learning mode.

“[On that survey,] about 46,500 schools reported if they have already held in-person schooling or not,” he said.

According to Jumeri, the 2.8 percent figure is an accumulation over the past 14 months since July 2020.

Also, the reports of 15,429 Covid-infected students and 7,307 teachers came from the data on the 46,500 schools that has yet to be verified.

It is also possible that the schools might input inaccurate data. For instance, a school might report that they had fifteen teachers, where in fact only eight teachers only worked at that school, Jumeri said.

"It is impossible to check 46,500 schools one by one. The Education Ministry and the Health Ministry are currently working on a trial run for a new data collection with the [Covid-19 tracking app] PeduliLindungi,” Jumeri said.

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