TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim said the government did not fret much about the potential COVID-19 transmission during face-to-face learning at schools (PTM) because a surveillance strategy had been prepared to evaluate the school reopening.
“We are not so worried about the [COVID-19] trends when schools holding PTM. I am even more worried that only 40 percent of schools are holding PTM. So,60 percent of schools allowed to hold PTM did not do so,” said Nadiem in an online press conference, Monday, September 27.
The government, he said, was concerned about the learning loss or loss of academic ability, knowledge, and skills that might be experienced by students due to school closure.
“Research by a number of world institutions have shown how alarming learning loss can be, particularly for elementary and early childhood students if face-to-face schools are not implemented,” Nadiem said.
Previously, the ministry stated that 2.8 percent or 1,296 education units reported COVID-19 cases. The figure was obtained from the survey results involving 46,500 schools from July 20, 2020, to September 20, 2021.
The minister argued that the figure was small. “Moreover, it is accumulated data from the last 14 months, not during PTM,” he added.
Nadiem Makarim said the government would carry out periodic surveillance and evaluation in order to ensure the safety of face-to-face learning at schools and conduct random tests of COVID-19.
The government will also close a school if it reports positive cases at more than five percent of the school population. “We will also integrate data with the Pedulilindungi app and implement the program at schools,” he said.