Students return to school under strict health protocols
We hope to start (face-to-face learning activities) as soon as possible as we want students to immediately recover knowledge in school
Indonesia managed to weather a drastic peak in COVID-19 triggered by the Delta variant and peaking in July 2021 after it imposed strict public activity restrictions dubbed PPKM level 4 for almost two months. The National COVID-19 Task Force on September 19, 2021, recorded 1,954 new confirmed cases and 117 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 4,213,414 cases and the death toll to 141,826.
The figures showed a sharp drop from the 56,757 new confirmed cases recorded on July 15, 2021 and the daily deaths of 2,069 on July 29, as daily COVID-19 cases in Indonesia hit a record when the country hit coped with the second wave of COVID-19 that had overwhelmed medical facilities across the country.
Following the significant drop in new cases, the government has decided to relax semi-containment measures and lower PPKM levels to 2 or 1 in several regions.
Another factor that led to the decision is that the country’s vaccination rate is relatively high, even above the target set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Authorities administered 90,361,002 first shots, or 43.3% of the target of over 208 million, and 50,688,220 second shots, or 24.3% as of September 29, 2021, afternoon.
The government rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program on January 13, 2021 for healthcare workers, public officials, the elderly and teachers. Later, students aged 12 and over were also covered.
As almost all teachers and many students have been vaccinated, a face-to-face learning process becomes possible, thus several schools are allowed to open under strict health protocols.
“We hope to start (the face-to-face learning activities) as soon as possible because we want the students to immediately recover the knowledge at school,” President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said recently during the exam. COVID-19 vaccinations to the state. High School 3 in Wajo District, South Sulawesi.
The president, however, urged students and teachers to continue to apply health protocols, including wearing a mask, washing hands and maintaining a safe distance.
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On September 14, 2021, the Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Nadiem Makarim, urged schools in regions with PPKM status at levels 1, 2 and 3 not to hesitate to organize face-to-face offline school activities.
Schools should not delay offline learning activities, pending vaccination of teachers and students, as national teacher coverage has reached around 60 percent, Makarim said.
A total of 490,217 schools located in level 1 to 3 PPKM zones are licensed to provide face-to-face learning. However, Makarim stressed that the parents of the students have the final say in allowing their children to attend offline activities at school.
The education minister explained that the joint decision of four ministers on learning activities during the pandemic provided flexibility for the regional authority to plan and implement face-to-face offline school activities.
The joint decision fixes a maximum attendance of 18 students in a classroom and five students per class at the preschool level and orders the strict application of the health protocol, the closure of the school canteen and limits extracurricular activities.
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The Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Welfare, Bintang Puspayoga, urged all parties to implement the 5 SIAP (5 READY) concept during the face-to-face learning process.
“The role of parents, teachers, schools, local governments and the community is badly needed. Thus, children can continue to learn optimally without becoming infected with COVID-19, ”she said on September 9.
As part of the SIAP Children component, children must be made to understand and respect health protocols. The concept of 5 SIAP includes SIAP children, SIAP families, SIAP educational units, SIAP infrastructure and SIAP local communities and communities, she explained.
Family Compensation means that parents / guardians must prepare for children’s needs and build their understanding, so that they adhere to health protocols.
Academic units SIAP requires academic units to be ready to implement health protocols. SIAP infrastructure refers to ensuring that infrastructure such as safe routes to school and public transport meet the requirements set in health protocols, she informed.
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Finally, the local government and community SIAP aim to ensure that all regional and community leaders support the reopening of schools and are ready to oversee learning activities.
“If the SIAP points of 1-5 are not ready, then the PTM must be postponed,” the minister said.
Data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology at the start of August showed that about 39% of the estimated 270,000 school units in the country have reopened and started educational activities. offline learning, said Sri Wahyuningsih, director of elementary schools in the ministry,
She urged school administrators to create COVID-19 task forces in their respective schools to monitor the application of the school health protocol and ensure the health of students and teachers.
“(A COVID-19 task force is important because) a safe and secure school is our priority,” she said.
In addition, COVID-19 Management Task Force spokesperson Professor Wiku Adisasmito has called on schools to stop face-to-face learning if a new case of COVID-19 is detected in schools. school zones.
According to data from the Ministry of Education, as of September 23, 2021, only 2.77% of 47,033 schools have reported cases of COVID-19 during face-to-face learning.
“Make sure students and faculty are disciplined in adhering to health protocols,” he urged.
Many students participating in online distance learning for months hailed the government’s policy of resuming face-to-face learning activities.
“Online learning is a challenge for us who specialize in fashion. The material, if given online, is difficult to understand. Face-to-face learning helps us understand the subject better.” Hasna Nabilashe, a student at a vocational high school school, said.
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