Indonesia will reopen schools located in low risk areas starting July after months of closure due to coronavirus, the Education Ministry said Tuesday.
Sri Wahyuningsih, a ministry official, said in a webinar that the reopening of schools will be carried out in phases depending on the level of education and the provisions of the health protocols.
“Middle and high schools will start to reopen in July, elementary schools in September, while kindergartens will be the last to reopen in November at the earliest,” said Wahyuningsih.
She said that only 6% of all schools in the country are located in low risk areas.
“Despite being allowed to reopen, school would be closed again if there were teachers, students or parents infected with COVID-19,” added Wahyuningsih.
She underlined that to be allowed to reopen, schools have to obtain permission from the local government and comply with strict health protocols to prevent transmission.
Classrooms will be limited to a maximum of 18 students for elementary and secondary schools, and a maximum of five for kindergartens.
“However, students will be allowed to continue studying at home if their parents feel uncomfortable letting their children go to school,” she added.
The archipelago nation closed schools in March as authorities struggled to contain a spike in coronavirus cases.
So far, Indonesia has reported 831 coronavirus cases among children aged 0-14 years, with 14 fatalities.
*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency's Indonesian language services in Jakarta.