Jayapura, Jubi – Acting head of Papua Education, Libraries, and Regional Archives Agency Protasius Lobya says that limited offline learning of fifty percent only applies to schools with a large number of students.
The agency issued a circular regarding limited face-to-face learning on Oct. 22. Schools that have implemented the policy include schools in Jayapura Regency, Jayapura City, Timika Regency, and Merauke Regency.
“So the term ‘limited’ applies to schools wherein the number of students are indeed many, that’s why it’s limited,” Lobya told Jubi on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.
“Meanwhile, if there are only a few students, there is no need for limiting the attendance, it’s automatically full. For example, if there are only ten students per class then the learning activity must carry on with ten students, not five,” he added.
However, Lobya appealed to schools to continue adhering to health protocols in synergy with the health team, especially the COVID-19 Regional Task Force who is currently struggling to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.
“We are looking for a solution which prioritizes the quality of education without ignoring the health aspect,” he said.
Head of YPPK Teruna Bakti High School Waena Cornelia Ragainaga said that only students who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 were allowed to attend face-to-face learning at school. “Those who have not been vaccinated will learn online,” she said.
Ragainaga said the school cooperated with the Waena Health Center to support offline learning. The School Health Unit has also formed a COVID-19 Task Force to carry out health checks on students studying at school.
“Of the 753 students, 80 percent have received the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.
Meanwhile, head of the Jayapura Joint High School Sandra G. Titihalawa said the limited offline learning at the Jayapura Joint High School only started on Nov. 1 and only applies specifically to first-year students.
Of the 150 first-year students, there are two groups, which is further divided into five class in each group, or 15 students per class. “Group A studies on Monday and Wednesday, while Group B studies on Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am to 11 pm,” Titihalawa said.
The headmaster said that during face-to-face learning, only five subjects were taught, namely English, Indonesian, science, social studies, and mathematics. The remaining five other subjects will still be conducted online.
“The offline learning for first-year students is only a trial run, while second and third-year students are planned to learn at schools in January-February 2022,” she said.
Titihalawa said that only 30 percent of the 494 students of the Jayapura Joint High School had been vaccinated. Although the school does not require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before participating in offline learning, it still urges parents to encourage students to take part in the COVID-19 vaccination for better protection. (*)
Reporter: Theo Kelen