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August 8, 2020, 01.12 AM – Indonesia’s schools are taking fledgling steps towards the New Normal phase, as the education and culture ministry decided to reopen schools for classroom instruction in so-called yellow zones or Covid-19 low risk areas.

“There are a number of considerations behind the reconvening of [face-to-face] classes," said Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim in a webinar on August 7.

"These include difficulties faced by teachers, parents and children in long-distance or online learning, as based on our evaluation [of long-distance and online learning] nationwide covered in the joint ministerial decree [SKB] issued last June.”

Also read: Classes to Stay Online in Indonesian Schools Until Further Notice

The decree is made by the Ministers of Education, Health, Home and Religious Affairs, and entails public and private schools as well as pesantren, or Islamic boarding schools. 

“Green [no risk] and yellow [low risk] zones are permitted to hold in-school learning with the permission of local-level authorities and the application of health protocols. Parents can also keep their children home-schooled, if they have reservations about in-school learning.”

On the other hand, schools in orange [medium risk] and red [high risk] areas are required to retain long distance learning or schooling from home.

Also read: Businesses Could Face Fines for Flouting Covid-19 Health Protocols in Indonesia

Nadiem pointed this out as many green and yellow zones are in sparsely populated agricultural provinces in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua.

In contrast, the more populated and urban provinces in islands like Java and Bali are more likely to be orange [medium risk] or red [high risk] zones.

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