83pct of schools not prepared to reopen: KPAI

01-Dec-2020 Intellasia | JakartaPost | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Although the central government has given regional administrations the option to reopen schools in 2021, a recent study by the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has found that 83 percent of schools are not prepared for in-person teaching.

“Based on KPAI observations from June to November, only 16 percent schools are ready for in-classroom teaching,” KPAI commissioner Retno Listyarti said in a statement on Monday, as reported by kompas.com.

Retno said 49 elementary and secondary schools were observed in 21 cities and regencies in eight provinces: Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta, Bengkulu and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

The national COVID-19 task force has asked regional administrations to help schools conduct simulations of in-person education under health protocols regularly for at least one and half a months before students return to the classroom.

“To create an ideal condition for gradual face-to-face teaching, a simulation involving parents, schools and regional administrations needs to be carried out,” task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito said recently.

He said the simulation should assess how ready schools were to provide clean toilets, handwashing facilities, hand sanitiser stations, disinfectants and thermometer guns, and should determine whether they had access to sufficient health facilities.

Wiki said schools had to ensure that all teachers and students wore masks and maintained physical distance at all times at school. He advised school administrators to keep track of the health of every student and teacher, their comorbidities, if any, and their travel histories, including whether they had visited high-risk areas and whether they had self-isolated.

Schools are also required to seek information on safe modes of transportation that could be used by teachers and students.

“It is essential for schools to meet all those criteria to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission during face-to-face teaching,” Wiku said.

On November 20, Education and Culture minister Nadiem Makarim announced that he would grant local administrations, schools and parents the authority to decide whether they would resume in-person education for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, which ends in July of next year. He said the central government had received requests to reopen schools from regional administrations, who said some of their administrative areas were safe enough for in-person teaching and that they were finding it difficult to educate students online.

Following Nadiem’s announcement, the KPAI accused the government of shirking responsibility by making regional administrations responsible for the necessary health preparations.

The KPAI urged the central government to establish a proper information, coordination and complaint system so that both central and regional administrations could work together to prepare schools for reopening, as opposed to having regional administrations bear all the responsibility.

Nadiem has said that allowing children to return to the classroom next year is optional, not mandatory.



Category: Indonesia

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