The Jakarta Post
The government should not allow schools in high-risk COVID-19 areas to reopen for in-class learning, Network for Education Watch Indonesia (JPPI) has said.
The JPPI’s national coordinator, Ubaid Matraji, said regional administrations and schools should not hastily enforce face-to-face teaching, as they needed to pay extra attention to the danger of coronavirus transmission on school premises.
“The government should stop pushing for face-to-face teaching, since there has been an increasing trend of new daily cases in red zones,” Ubaid said as quoted by kompas.com on Friday.
A similar statement was voiced by the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI). IDAI chairman Aman B. Pulungan pointed out that even developed countries had reported a rise of infections after allowing on-campus learning, such as South Korea, France and the United States.
“Delaying the plan to reopen schools could reduce [COVID-19] transmission. Every person in and around school premises, including teachers, staff and the public, share the same risks of getting infected and infecting others,” Aman said.
The IDAI has also received reports of increasing stress levels among children throughout the pandemic. This was caused by early marriage, increasing rates of domestic violence, students dropping out for economic reasons as well as other issues that could threaten children’s health and welfare.
“After studying scientific journals, COVID-19 data in Indonesia, as well as the World Health Organization’s guidebook, the IDAI believes that virtual learning is the safest learning method for now,” Aman said.
Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim previously announced that the government would give local administrations, school administrators and parents the authority to decide when to resume face-to-face teaching.
“School reopening can be done immediately or in stages according to each region’s capability and the decision of the regional leaders. The schools wanting to reopen must fulfill the checklist [requirements] for face-to-face teaching. The new policy allows schools in red zones to reopen,” Nadiem said on Nov. 20.
He added that the central government had received several requests for school reopening from regional administrations, which argued that some parts of their administrative areas were safe enough for on-campus activities.
On Thursday, Indonesia broke another record for daily COVID-19 cases, with 8,369 new cases logged within 24 hours. The latest spike brought the total nationwide tally to 557,877 confirmed cases with 17,355 reported fatalities and 462,535 recovered patients. (dpk)
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