KPAI Commissioner Retno Listyarti said her agency often found violations of health protocols when directly supervising face-to-face learning in schools in a number of areas. Among other things, violations of the use of masks and hand washing facilities that are not accompanied by running water. The violators of the process come from teachers and students.
Therefore, Retno encouraged schools to ensure all the terms and needs of face-to-face learning. In addition, the government needs to speed up vaccination of students aged 12-17 years to prevent transmission of the corona virus.
“So we encourage vaccination first. Schools should not open unless students and teachers have been vaccinated and the number reaches 70 percent,” explained Retno to VOA, Monday (27/9/2021).
Retno also encouraged the government to ensure that the provision of vaccines for children is evenly distributed throughout Indonesia. KPAI’s brief survey last August found that child vaccination was dominated by Java and only targeted children in urban areas.
Retno also asked schools to map out the material for each subject because online and face-to-face learning are carried out in tandem. He said, easy material can be delivered online with the help of modules. While difficult material can be delivered through face-to-face learning.
IDAI: More than 37,000 Children Positive for COVID-19
The Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) recorded that 37,706 cases of children were confirmed positive for COVID-19 and 177 of them died during the pandemic. Most of the deaths of children with confirmed COVID-19 handled by pediatricians are aged 10-18 years, followed by children aged 1-5 years, and less than 12 months.
Therefore, Chairman of the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) Aman B Pulungan encouraged the government to vaccinate all school residents before face-to-face learning. The school residents in question are students, teachers, workers, and families.
“If we look at the end of June to the end of August, more than 100 Indonesian children died per Sunday,” said Aman Pulungan in an online press conference, Sunday (26/9/2021).
According to the IDAI report, the causes of death of children due to corona are mostly due to respiratory failure, septic shock (an emergency condition due to inflammation throughout the body), and congenital diseases (comorbid). Meanwhile, the most common comorbidities are malnutrition, heart disease, tuberculosis, and chronic kidney disease.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson Disagrees Face-to-Face Learning to be Postponed
In response to this, the Health Ministry’s Vaccination Spokesperson, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said face-to-face learning (PTM) should not be postponed to avoid losing learning. In addition, Siti said, vaccination does not guarantee that COVID-19 transmission does not occur.
Previously, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) said as many as 2.8 percent or 1,296 education units reported school residents who were confirmed to have COVID-19 during limited face-to-face learning (PTM). This number is based on the results of a survey of 46,500 schools until September 20, 2021.
However, the statement was corrected that the data circulating to the public did not show COVID-19 clusters in schools, but data from education units that reported school residents who had contracted COVID-19 and accumulated for 14 months (since July 2020). [sm/em]