Indonesia to Reopen Schools with Extra Cautions
Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Monday gave his approval for in person learning in the upcoming academic year starting in July with strict requirements to ensure a safe return to schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Only 25 percent of the total number of students are allowed to attend classrooms at a time, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said after a meeting with the president at the State Palace in Central Jakarta.
Student attendance is limited to twice per week, he said.
"The president has instructed that in person learning must be held with extra cautions. Classroom activities will last only two hours per day,” Budi said.
Moreover, school reopening requires all teachers and staff to be fully vaccinated, he added.
“All teachers must be fully vaccinated before reopening and therefore we call on regional leaders, to whom we deliver the vaccine, to prioritize teachers,” Budi said.
In person learning is not mandatory, parents can still opt for remote schooling, he said.
Schools have been closed since the wake of the pandemic in the mid of last year in most parts of the country.
The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) warned earlier that the decision to partially reopen schools must be taken under risk-based approach.
KPAI chairwoman Retno Listyarti said every district must be honest in informing the intensity of Covid-19 transmission in their area.
“When it comes to school reopening, the Covid-19 positivity rate in the region must become the main consideration to ensure students’ right to life and live a healthy life,” Retno said in Jakarta on Sunday.
“In person learning must not be allowed in a district where the positivity rate is above 10 percent,” she said, referring to the proportion of positive results from the total number of Covid-19 tests.
According to a survey by the commission, 79.5 percent of schools are ready for in person learning. The survey involved 42 schools in seven provinces, including Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Riau Islands, West Kalimantan and Banten.