Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Pediatric Association (IDAI) stated that East Nusa Tenggara's policy necessitating students to attend school from 5:30 a.m. local time can potentially weaken their immunity, as they are still growing.

"For children, the most important aspect is quality and enough sleep," IDAI Chairperson Piprim Basarah Yanuarso remarked at a press conference here on Thursday.

Yanuarso emphasized that the quality of sleep greatly affects a person's state of health. He noted that ideally, high school goers need seven to eight hours of sleep a day.

The association's chairman pointed out that if students go to bed early at 8 p.m. local time and wake up at 4 a.m. local time to prepare for school, then they get sufficient sleep and may feel healthier.

"However, the problem is, can't our high school students sleep early? If they go to bed at 12 a.m. because they play on their mobile phone first, then their sleep is only four hours," he stated.

Yanuarso highlighted that children nowadays are habituated to using gadgets that will further impact their quality of sleep.

He expressed concern that children will stay up late due to early school hours. If children face sleep deprivation every day, then 30 percent of the natural killer cells that function to protect the body will be destroyed, thereby affecting their immunity as a result.

On that occasion, Yanuarso also reminded of the importance of social support, for instance, the potential for children's needs, such as breakfast and other preparations, being neglected since other family members are still asleep.

Hence, he expected that the East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government can reconsider the policy by paying greater attention to children's health.

Earlier, East Nusa Tenggara Governor Viktor B. Laiskodat announced a policy necessitating public and vocational high schools in Kupang City to start activities at 5 a.m. local time.

Due to several negative responses and rejection by locals, the time to start school was changed to 5:30 a.m. local time.

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Translator: Hreeloita S, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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