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Schools in Indonesia-Malaysia Border Area Reopen during Covid-19 Pandemic

September 27, 2020, 03.30 AM

NUNUKAN, – Some schools in three sub-districts of Lumbis, Krayan, and Nunukan in North Kalimantan — near the Indonesia-Malaysia border — have resumed in-person classes six months the coronavirus pandemic interrupted learning.

“Three junior high schools have reopened so far. Eight more schools in other sub-districts, still in Area 3, including Sebuku, Sembakung, Lumbis, and Krayan will also be reopened starting on September 28,” head of the Primary Education Section at the Nunukan Education Agency Widodo told

Widodo went on to say that the reopening of schools began with those in isolated areas to keep the movement of people and freight low. Schools are allowed to proceed with in-class learning in the yellow zone, which has a low risk of Covid-19 transmission.

However, it still needs consideration to reopen schools in busier areas such as in Nunukan and Sebatik Island as there are seaports in both places.

Also read: Indonesia’s Health Ministry Prepares for New School Year Amid the Pandemic

“We consider the epidemiological aspect. In area 3, the movement of people outside the Nunukan regency remains low,” Widodo said.

“It is very different from Nunukan and Sebatik, where the prevalence is still high and the Covid-19 cases have been found in Nunukan,” he added.

Agreement between schools and the Covid-19 Task Force

Widodo said schools have to fulfill strict requirements before reopening. They must follow the rules set by the government, including receiving recommendations from the health agency and the Covid-19 Task Force.

Schools are required to strictly implement health protocols and obtain permission from students' parents. “There will be no flag hoisting and lowering ceremonies, no physical education classes, and no outdoor activities. Also, the canteen must be closed and schools must provide masks,” he said.

He said the three schools that have started their face-to-face learning comprise SMP 1 state junior high school in Lumbis, and two state junior high schools in Krayan namely SMP 1 and SMP 4.

Also read: Jakarta Extends Partial Lockdown as Hospitals Feel Weight of Covid-19 Caseload

Meanwhile, the eight other public schools that will reopen next week are three elementary schools in Sebuku sub-district, an elementary school in Sembakung sub-district, two junior high schools in Sebuku sub-district, and a junior high school in Sembakung and South Krayan, respectively.

“If a confirmed Covid-19 case is found near a school or at school, then the school will be closed again. We will evaluate for two months. More schools will be reopened if the situation is safe for everyone,” Widodo said.

There are 121 primary schools with around 21,000 pupils, and 53 junior high schools with 8,000 students in Nunukan regency.


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