Schools in PPKM 1-3 regions urged to commence offline activities

Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim urged schools in regions with the activities restrictions enforcement (PPKM) status at levels 1-3 to not hesitate to hold face-to-face offline school activities.

“All schools in regions with the PPKM status at level 1-3 can start offline school activities immediately,” Minister Makarim stated after a meeting with Yogyakarta Governor Hamengku Buwono X in Yogyakarta, Tuesday.

Makarim emphasized that schools should not delay offline learning activities, pending completion of vaccination of teachers and students, as the national vaccination coverage for teachers has reached around 60 percent.

The minister reiterated that vaccination coverage was not considered as an eligibility criterion for schools to commence offline activities. He instead urged schools with vaccinated teachers to start face-to-face offline school activities at the earliest. Despite urging schools to commence offline activities, Minister Makarim reminded that the pupils’ parents had the final say on allowing their children to attend offline activities at school.

“The final decision rests with the parents, and they should not be coerced (to allow their children to attend offline school activities). School should facilitate distance learning if parents are not consenting to send their children to attend offline school,” Makarim stated.

The education minister explained that the joint decision of four ministers on learning activities during the COVID-19 pandemic offered flexibility for the regional authority to plan and implement face-to-face offline school activities in the region.

The joint decision only sets a maximum attendance of 18 pupils in one classroom and a maximum of five pupils per classroom for pre-school level and instructs strict health protocol enforcement, school canteen closure, and restricts extra-curricular activities.

“The joint decision does not restrict or elucidate the school days or hours permitted for offline school activities,” he stated.

Makarim informed that the school is free to utilize the government-provided school operational funding for offline school activities.

“We allowed schools to utilize the fund for preparations to hold offline school activities. We also expect the regional education office heads to consider assisting private schools heavily affected by the pandemic,” Minister Makarim affirmed.

Source: Antara News

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