TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Indonesia examines plan to reopen schools in December or next year

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 2, 2020   /   01:23 pm
Indonesia examines plan to reopen schools in December or next year Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) officers spray disinfectant in State High School 68 on March 16. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The government is mulling over plans to reopen school campuses by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2021, after students were required to study from home in the final few months of the school year to remains safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the government’s official academic calendar, the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year is slated for July 13. 

However, it may order schools to reopen for on-campus activities in late December at the earliest — if the pandemic shows signs of receding.

 “That's just an estimation. According to our calendar, [the new school year starts] in mid-July, but I won’t recommend [students going back to campus],” Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said in a statement on Monday.

Read also: Ministry suggests shorter school hours as part of 'new normal'

He assured that the government would make a decision soon, saying the education sector would be the last to be reopened after the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).

"Compared to other sectors, education will be the last. Given the unmeasured risks, we can’t calculate [the exact date] just yet.”

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously suggested to delay the start of the school year, as allowing schools to reopen their campuses as scheduled would be a great risk to the country’s education, tribunnews.com reported on Sunday.  

The ministry’s deputy coordinator of education and religious affairs, Agus Sartono, said the ministry had considered allowing students to return to campus in late August or early September.

"But the end of December is better […] We don’t want to be like France and South Korea. They reopened their schools too early and many students were exposed [to COVID-19]," he said.

The Jakarta Education Agency previously planned to reopen schools on July 13, in line with the government’s academic calendar. The plan, however, had to take into account the central government's policies and each school’s preparations in curbing COVID-19 transmission. 

According to agency head Nahdiana, authorities have formulated three different scenarios for students returning to school. 

The first option is to reopen some schools and allow all of their students to attend, the second is to reopen several schools and only allow half of their students on campus and the third option is to reopen all schools while requiring some students to study from home.