Indonesian Teachers: Too Risky to Reopen Schools Now



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI) asserted that now is not the time for face-to-face teaching and learning activities in schools. According to PGRI chair Unifah Rosyidi, the risk of Covid-19 transmission is too high.

    "It's not the time to reopen schools yet. But learning and studying continue—there's a difference. Face-to-face learning should not start yet," she told Tempo, Tuesday, June 2. 

    She said that the school year can start as scheduled in July, but all activities must be conducted at home. According to Unifah, there is no scientific backing for reopening schools with teachers and students interacting face to face.  

    Although the Indonesian government is planning new norms for activities to restart in several areas with low cases of coronavirus infections, Unifah said that this cannot be implemented for school activities, asserting there is no guarantee that students will not be exposed to the virus. 

    She added that Indonesia must take notes from South Korea and Denmark, where schools were reopened and then closed again to anticipate a second wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.

    Unifah regretted how the Education Ministry left PGRI out of any discussion of preparing schools for the new normal, as the association has competent experts who can contribute ideas and suggestions.