Bengkulu (ANTARA) - The Education and Culture Office of the Bengkulu Province has allowed all schools in Bengkulu to commence face-to-face offline learning at schools since Monday (Aug 30).

"On account of the recent decline in the number of the COVID-19 cases in the province, we have allowed schools to reopen and commence face-to-face offline learning activities," Bengkulu's Education and Culture Office Head Eri Yulian stated in Bengkulu on Thursday.

Yulian confirmed that strict health protocols and 50-percent maximum attendance at schools remained in force. Pupils should also be in good health before being allowed entry, as pupils with even minor health issues, such as coughing, would be barred from entering the school, he emphasized.

School administrators are allowed to adapt the enforced regulation to their schools, for instance, by enforcing an odd-even policy to determine the pupils' attendance at schools, he remarked.

According to the office head, no major issues were encountered during the implementation of face-to-face school activities, as almost all teachers had received at least the first vaccine dosage, and vaccination drive for those below 17 years of age would commence in the province.

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Yulian is optimistic of the condition improving and schools reopening completely, with full capacity, to allow all pupils to attend face-to-face learning activities.

"Differences between online and face-to-face offline school activities are huge. Moreover, what is important in offline activities is to nurture the pupils' character that could not be achieved through online means," he stated.

Bengkulu City 4 Public Vocational School that reopened in the province has segregated its students into two groups, with alternating attendance schedule, to conform with the 50-percent maximum attendance regulation, the school's Principal, Paidi, reported.

The school also enforced strict health protocols by necessitating the use of masks for pupils, physical distancing, and frequent handwashing, he remarked.

"Students should also confirm that they are healthy before arriving in school," Paidi stated.

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Translator: Helti Marini S, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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