An Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) officer disinfects a classroom in a school in Tangerang, Banten, last week. (Antara Photo/Fauzan)

School Might Be Out Till Next Year


MAY 01, 2020

Jakarta. Schools in Indonesia might remain closed until the end of this year as the coronavirus pandemic shows little sign of slowing down, a government official said on Friday. 

The government is considering three different scenarios for students who are currently forced to do all their activities at home, including moving the start of the new academic year to January.

Agus Sartono, a deputy at the Coordinating Ministry for Human Resources and Culture, said in a statement the government has prepared online programs for the students as school closure is extended for an undetermined period.

The most optimistic scenario would have schools reopened by the end of June or mid-August.

The second scenario assumes that the pandemic might last until the end of this year.

If this happens, online learning will continue with the government providing more assistance to areas with limited electricity and internet access.

Distance education programs are now also available on the state-owned broadcaster TVRI's channel. 

In the last scenario, the government would move the start of the new academic year – normally in June – to January 2021.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo meanwhile has warned that reopening the schools would have to be accompanied by stricter health protocols 

Schools will have to provide facemasks and hand-washing facilities to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Since currently around 46,000 schools around the country are still without electricity and internet access, the president has ordered the Communication and Information Technology Ministry to expand the Palapa Ring "internet superhighway" project to more remote areas. 

"Every child in Indonesia should have access to education as mandated by the law," Agus said.