According to the Education and Culture Minister, Nadiem Makarim, remote learning could potentially cause prolonged negative social impacts.
The risk of students dropping out of school will also increase because children are forced to help with family finances in the midst of a pandemic crisis. Not only that, a decrease in education achievement, an uptick in violence against children, and other external risks could arise.
Nadiem disclosed his concerns in a Joint Working Meeting with Commission X of the Indonesian House of Representatives at Nusantara I Building in Senayan, Jakarta on 18th March.
The work meeting was to discuss a number of crucial issues in the world of education, one of which was related to face-to-face learning preparation (PTM) for in July 2021. In addition, the meeting also discussed the government’s plan to provide teacher vaccinations, national assessments, and the admission of new students.
Nadiem explained that since January 2021, determining a return to school in a limited manner is the prerogative of the regional government.
“For parents who do not want their children to meet face-to-face, it is indeed the parents’ decision to make. But when the teachers have been vaccinated, schools are obliged to provide limited face-to-face options,” said Nadiem.
This refers to the provisions of PTM, namely for areas including the green and yellow zones, being permitted to return to school. However, to date, only 56 percent of schools in the green zone have carried out face-to-face learning, and in the yellow zone only 28 percent have carried out direct teaching and learning activities.
For this reason, the opening of schools depends on the decision of each local government. With this vaccination program, the Minister emphasised that his party is trying to accelerate PTM in schools.
“Learning loss, which is permanent in nature, will continue to occur if we do not meet face-to-face immediately. This policy aims to accelerate the face-to-face learning process in Indonesia,” explained Nadiem. “In fact, only 16 percent are doing face-to-face learning and the remaining 84 percent are learning from home. This must increase quickly, so with the vaccination of educators and our education personnel, PTM accelerates in schools.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of Commission X Agustina Wilujeng Pramestuti welcomed the government’s plan to reopen in-class teaching and learning processes are to be carried out carefully since the pandemic is still active.
Education providers, therefore, must ensure health protocols are adhered to, such as wearing masks, maintaining distance, and limiting the number of students.
“Commission X gives its support, especially what the agenda presented by the Minister is all positive,” concluded Agustina.