The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta administration will close schools across the city and suspend examinations for two weeks starting from Monday as part of measures to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the capital city.
“The Jakarta administration has decided to close all schools in the city. All students will study through long-distance learning,” Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan said during a press briefing at City Hall on Saturday.
“The National Examination for vocational high school students, which is slated to start on Monday, as well as school examinations will also be suspended.”
The governor went on to say that the administration would review the policy at the end of the second week of suspension, depending on the development of the COVID-19 situation.
The decision was made after a meeting on Saturday between several healthcare professional organizations, including the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) and the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI), as well as WHO representative to Indonesia N. Paranietharan, who joined the meeting through a video call.
Anies also suggested that non-formal educational institutions shift to long-distance learning to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the city.
He added that the administration had coordinated with the Education and Culture Ministry regarding the school closures and examination suspensions. The provincial administration will prepare the learning materials so they will be ready by Monday.
According to the administration, there are 1.5 million students across Jakarta; 124,000 of whom are 12th grade students who will participate in final examinations.
“Few children have tested positive for COVID-19. However, they can be carriers [of the virus] and infect adults,” Anies said. “Furthermore, adults taking their children to school can also be infected. Therefore, we need to lower the risk.”
Jakarta previously decided to temporarily close several tourist destinations and entertainment places owned by the administration, including Ancol Dreamland Park, Ragunan Zoo and the National Monument. Weekly Car Free Day on Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin was also suspended for two weeks.
“We are not locking down Jakarta. However, we ask all citizens to be responsible for our health,” the governor said.
The government announced on Saturday that the number of people confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 had surged to 96, five of whom died of the disease. (mfp)