As a precaution against the continued spread of coronavirus, schools across Indonesia have been closed since mid-March. Recently, there has been unfounded speculation about children returning to school.
Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud), Nadiem Anwar Makarim confirmed that rumours of students returning to school in July were untrue. Decisions about the timing and learning methods going forward will be based on the consideration of the COVID-19 Handling Acceleration Task Force.
“It must be known that the Ministry of Education and Culture is ready for all scenarios; we have various kinds. But of course, the decision is with the Task Force, not the Ministry of Education and Culture itself. So, we will execute and coordinate,” he said in a written statement a few days ago.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued guidelines regarding the problem of reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic. There are problems because not all children have the same ability, access and suitable environment if learning processes continue outside the classroom setting.
There are at least three things suggested by the WHO which need to be understood by policymakers if they really want to open schools:
- Current conditions of the spread of COVID-19 and its severity in the child population.
- Local situation and epidemiology of COVID-19 in the area around the school.
- The school environment and its ability to implement disease prevention and control efforts.
“Until now, there have been few reports of educational institutions involved in the emergence of COVID-19 outbreaks. It’s just that studies do show the spread of the disease, mainly in social activities related to school life,” the WHO wrote.
Image: CNN Indonesia