Parigi Moutong, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology has said that the decision to implement face-to-face school has been taken to address issues surrounding education that have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Besides health issues, the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the educational sector. To address this issue, the four ministers' joint decree instructed the offline face-to-face school activities to commence immediately," the ministry's director for primary education, Sri Wahyuningsih, stated during an education consultation event in Parigi Moutong district, Southeast Sulawesi, on Saturday.

Offline school has been allowed only in regions with Level 1, 2, and 3 activities restriction enforcement (PPKM), and only vaccinated teachers have been allowed to participate in the school reopening, she affirmed.

With the recent decline in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, the ministry has urged administrators of reopened schools to remain vigilant and strictly enforce health protocol, the director said.

"From our inspections, we found a lot of cases of schools where the pupils were not observing health protocols. Teachers' presence to remind the pupils is essential as vaccination cannot completely shield our body from being infected by the virus," Wahyuningsih stressed.

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She underlined the necessity for strict health protocol enforcement to ensure safe and convenient school activities and to prevent reopened schools from turning into COVID-19 infection clusters.

"We should not be complacent on the recent COVID-19 cases decline, and we should remain vigilant instead to prevent the infection at school," Wahyuningsih said.

Besides offline school, teachers and students should continue utilizing information technology for class activities and not neglect the distanced learning system that has been in place for more than a year, the director advised.

"We hope the execution of nationwide primary school reopening would be smooth and no COVID-19 infection cluster occurs at reopened schools," she stated.

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Translator: M Ridwan, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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