Coronavirus — 2,473 New Cases in Indonesia

  • The Indonesian government decided to allow schools to carry out face-to-face teaching and learning activities in the yellow zone.
  • Some families had difficulty buying the internet bundles, even though Nadiem said BOS funds could be used to buy the internet bundles.
  • This decision was based on various inputs from the community regarding the challenges, obstacles, and problems of distance education (PJJ).

The COVID-19 Handling Task Force revealed the latest data on the transmission of respiratory infectious diseases, which showed that up to Friday at 12:00,  there were an additional 2,473 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours throughout Indonesia. That brings the total to 121,226 cases.

COVID-19 was confirmed to have spread to Indonesia on 2 March 2020, after a dance instructor and her mother tested positive for the virus. As of 7 August 2020, Indonesia has reported 121,226 cases, and 5,593 deaths.

The first case announced in Indonesia was on March 2, 2020. The government examined 30,159 specimens from 15,599 people sampled in a day. The government has accumulated an examination of 1,663,315 specimens from 951,910 people.

Emergency Curriculum Started, Schools Open in Yellow Zone

The Indonesian government decided to allow schools to carry out face-to-face teaching and learning activities in the yellow zone. These are the results of the revision of the Joint Decree (SKB) of the Four Ministers regarding the guidelines for implementing new school year learning during the pandemic.

“We allow, and not force, face-to-face learning [in the yellow zone] by following strict health protocols,” said Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud), Nadiem Makarim. This decision was welcomed by various teachers and parents of students.

Some admitted to allowing their children to come back face to face with the teachers at school for various reasons, including difficulty buying the internet bundles, even though Nadiem said BOS funds could be used to buy the internet bundles.

There are also parents who are still worried about the current pandemic situation. The reopening of schools in the yellow zone, among others, is based on the problems, constraints, and challenges faced by students, teachers, and parents, during the distance learning period (PJJ).

In addition, the government has prepared an emergency curriculum for schools that are still implementing the distance learning process (PJJ). This emergency curriculum is intended for all levels of education, from early childhood to vocational high school.

In an online press statement Friday afternoon, Nadiem said that the zoning system was adjusted to the data from the COVID-19 National Task Force. As for the learning process in the red and orange zones, face-to-face learning is still prohibited, he said.

Last month, the government allowed face-to-face learning in areas with green zone status starting in the New Academic Year last July. “But green and yellow zones are allowed, not enforced, for face-to-face learning,” he added.

“If Parents Object, Their Child May Not Go to School”

Distance education or distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of the vast majority of schools worldwide.

Nadiem stated this decision was based on various inputs from the community regarding the challenges, obstacles, and problems of distance education (PJJ) over the past few months. Nadiem explained that if the regional government or the heads of their offices “don’t feel ready” for this decision by the central government, then they “don’t have to implement it.”

And if each school principal and school committee states that they are not ready, then they are allowed not to hold face-to-face learning. “And if the school starts to do it if the parents do not allow their children to go to school, that is the prerogative and the rights of the parents,” said Nadiem.

The decision was welcomed by various parents who live in the ‘yellow zone’. In Pekalongan Regency, Central Java, Sutrisno admitted that he would allow his son who is a grade 6 student to return to school.

“If you can choose, you want to meet face to face because the changes are more dominant. The important thing is there is a protocol from the government that ensures student safety.”  He admitted that while carrying out distance learning (PJJ), the need to buy the internet bundle increased and was “burdensome.”

The number of pressure from parents who want direct teaching and learning activities is stated in the results of a survey conducted by the Cyrus Network survey institute. The majority of parents agreed that the school must reopen.

In a survey released, as many as 80% of respondents agreed that schools – be it kindergarten, elementary, junior high, or high school – must be reopened amid coronavirus.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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