JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s health ministry will set up a range of health facilities and infrastructures in preparation for the new school year 2020/2021.
The upcoming school year is expected to start in July 2020 and will take place during unprecedented times as the coronavirus pandemic shows few signs of slowing down in Indonesia.
Schools that are in the green zone will be allowed to reopen and conduct in-class teaching. Those outside of the green zone will be required to continue offering online learning.
Schools that will reopen will be required to uphold stringent health protocols stipulated by the Ministry of Health.
They must also provide adequate health and sanitary facilities such as clean toilets, disinfectants, and handwashing stations equipped with running water, soap, or handwashing liquid.
Additional regulations that must be met include ensuring that classroom capacity will be properly managed.
If under normal situation a classroom has 28-30 students, during the pandemic, the number of students will be restricted to 18. That number applies strictly to elementary schools and junior high schools.
Health ministry’s aid
With less than a month until the new school year starts, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said that he has been working with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
The cooperation is to discuss technical details and conduct consultation to create a health protocol.
“The health ministry will prepare health facilities and infrastructures such as community health centers (Puskesmas) and other health facilities around the schools,” Terawan said during the announcement of the Guide to Organizing Teaching and Learning Activities amid a Pandemic on June 15.
The health ministry seeks to support promotive, preventive, and consultative assistance in monitoring school activities.
The assistance will continue to be offered for as long as Indonesia has to battle with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will repeatedly extend our assistance and hopefully the priority on safety and health of our students will be maintained and that teaching and learning activities will go smoothly,” said Terawan.
The health ministry together with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Covid-19 Task Force, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Cultural Affairs, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management, and DPR RI Commission X previously announced plans to create a ‘Guideline for the Implementation of Learning Activities in the New Teaching and Academic Year during the Coronavirus Pandemic.’
Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Anwar Makarim stated, “The principle behind the issuance of the education policy amid the coronavirus pandemic is to prioritize the health and safety of students, educators, teaching staff, families, and society.”
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