The Jakarta Post
Dozens of cities and regencies in the country have violated regulations on reopening schools by neglecting the requisite health protocols or re-operating in areas with a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, the Education and Culture Ministry said on Tuesday.
Ministry secretary-general Ainun Naim revealed such violations had been found in 79 cities or regencies, which consist of 18 designated so-called “green zones”, 39 “yellow zones”, 20 “orange zones” and two “red zones”.
“We understand that many people want to return to face-to-face learning in schools, but we also have to ensure that it is conducted carefully and in a controlled manner,” Ainun said Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com. “Please be patient and prioritize the health and safety of the education community.”
The National COVID-19 task force has mapped the risk status of all regions in the country based on 15 criteria from the World Health Organization. The indicators, which include the number of new cases, suspects and fatalities, determine whether a region falls into the green, yellow, orange or red category.
Areas considered green, or with the lowest risk of coronavirus transmission, have been allowed to reopen schools, as long as strict health procedures, such wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing, are followed. Schools are also required to limit the number of students per classroom to 18, roughly 50 percent of the previous capacity.
Schools located in yellow, orange and red zones, meanwhile, are still prohibited from holding face-to-face classes — as regulated in a joint ministerial decree issued by the education and culture minister, the religious affairs minister, the home minister and the health minister.
Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim previously said that the number of students in green zones was roughly equivalent to 6 percent of all students in the country, meaning that the remaining 94 percent had to continue their education through online sessions.
A recent poll by Cyrus Network, however, suggested that the majority of Indonesians wanted the government to reopen schools and universities, despite the outbreak showing no signs of abating. The survey found that 80.2 percent of 1,230 respondents polled from July 16 to 20 were in favor or reopening schools, while 19.8 percent were opposed. (vny)