Education Minister: Schools Must Fulfill Specific Requirements before Reopening
The Government has issued Joint Decree (SKB) of Minister of Education and Culture, Minister of Religious Affairs, Minister of Health, and Minister of Home Affairs on the Guidelines for Learning Process in the Even Semester of the 2020/2021 Academic Year amid COVID-19 Pandemic.
In the Joint Decree, the Government gives authority to regional governments/regional offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs/offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs for approving face-to-face learning in schools in the even semester of the 2020/2021 academic year.
Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Anwar Makarim said that schools reopening approval is only granted for educational units that have fulfilled the following requirements:
First, the availability of sanitation and hygiene facilities such as clean and proper toilets, washing hands facilities (including soap and running water) or hand sanitizer, and disinfectants;
Second, access to health care facilities;
Third, readiness to implement mandatory face masks policy;
Fourth, having infrared thermometer;
Fifth, mapping of education unit stakeholders, including list of persons with comorbidities, list of persons who do not have access to safe transportation, and travel history from areas with a high risk of COVID-19 or history of contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19;
Sixth, approval from the school committee or representatives of parents. Without the consent of the parents’ representatives, the school is not allowed to open.
Once the checklist is fulfilled, Nadiem added, face-to-face learning can be done by following strict health protocols.
Regarding health protocols, the early childhood education, primary education and secondary education units must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters among the participants of the learning process.
The Minister also said that wearing face masks, washing hands with soap and running water or hand sanitizer, maintaining safe distance, avoiding physical contact, and applying coughing/sneezing etiquette are mandatory.
“Canteen is not allowed to operate. Sports and extracurricular activities are not allowed. There are no activities other than teaching and learning activities,” the Minister said.
The Minister expressed hope that all stakeholders can support regional governments in preparing for face-to-face learning transitions.
“Let us work together to ensure that the children can continue to learn in a safe manner,” the Minister said.
In the meantime, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy, in his written statement on Friday (20/11), said that the safety of education unit stakeholders is the main thing that must be considered in the implementation of face-to-face learning.
Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto said that Ministry of Health will increase the role of Community Health Centers (Puskesmas) in implementing health protocols and supporting school readiness to start face-to-face learning.
Head of the Task Force for COVID-19 Handling Doni Monardo has expressed his support for the new policy. In line with Doni, Minister of Home Affairs Muhammad Tito Karnavian also supported the new Joint Decree and reminded regional governments to continue implementing health protocols.
Minister of Religious Affairs Fachrul Razi also expressed support for the policy, stating that face-to-face learning would be more effective since there is gap among regions in terms of supporting facilities and infrastructure for online learning. (Public Relations of Ministry of Education and Culture/ UN) (RI/LW)