Minister forewarns boarding schools about preventing COVID-19 clusters

Minister forewarns boarding schools about preventing COVID-19 clusters

Minister of Religious Affairs Fachrul Razi (middle) attends the National Santri Day celebration ceremony held at the ministry's office in Jakarta, Thursday (Oct. 22, 2020).

Pesantren is an entity susceptible to COVID-19 transmission. Hence, we need to increase our awareness.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Pesantren, or Islamic boarding schools, should avert possibilities of becoming COVID-19 clusters by raising awareness on the outbreak, Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi stated during the National Santri (Islamic students) Day 2020 commemoration.

Santri Day is annually celebrated on October 22 since President Joko Widodo’s issuance of Presidential Decree Number 22 of 2015. This date refers to the day of "Jihad Resolution" -- that Muslims should defend Indonesia's sovereignty -- initiated by Muslim preacher of Nahdlatul Ulama in 1945.

"Pesantren is an entity susceptible to the spread of COVID-19. Hence, we need to increase our awareness," Razi noted in a statement received here on Thursday.

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Limited healthcare and other facilities in pesantren might be causal to COVID-19 transmission in this scenario, whereas intense interaction and communication among people inside also becomes a good tradition that has its cons during this season, the minister pointed out.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs, through its Directorate of Islamic Education and School, has provided an operational aid package of Rp2.4 trillion (some US$163 million) for pesantren to boost their health services.

Although the aid amount is still disproportionate in comparison with the total number of pesantren nationwide, reaching 28,900, Razi is optimistic of this aid being of some form of assistance to the entities.

Besides this, he lauded several Islamic boarding schools that have already succeeded in preventing, controlling, and handling the effects of the pandemic, which the minister perceives as proof that pesantren can survive amid their limitations by applying discipline in imparting knowledge to Muslim preachers.

"Do not ever become tired of contributing for this country. I believe that as long as santri remain dedicated towards the nation, our beloved country would remain peaceful and will prosper,” Razi stated.
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