School’s in: Jakarta sets July 13 as first day for new academic calendar

Photo: Pexels
Photo: Pexels

The Jakarta Education Agency has officially set a date for a return to school in July, though it remains to be seen if it would be a return in the physical sense or if it would mean more remote learning with Zoom.

In an official document published on its website, the agency has finalized the 2020/21 academic calendar, which will commence on Monday, July 13. 

In one possible scenario outlined in the document, students from kindergarten to high school would be expected to physically go to school and take part in orientation until July 15 before resuming normal learning. This would fall in line with the government’s recent eagerness to return to some sort of normalcy after months of partial lockdown measures.

Another possible scenario is that there may be huge adjustments to school life, such as the introduction of a rotational absence system in which students will only have to go to school on alternating days, with home learning set to supplement their education in a more significant way than ever before.

Should the agency deem that it’s too dangerous for any school activity, then children would be expected to continue home learning with the help of their schools.

Despite anticipation of the “new normal” dominating national discourse at the moment, the agency has yet to publish official guidelines on physical distancing or hygiene measures should children physically return to school in the new academic year. 

The Commission for the Protection of Indonesian Children (KPAI) warned the government not to rush the reopening of schools, citing cases in China and Europe where new COVID-19 clusters emerged from schools despite added health precautions.

“Regional governments and the central government must be super careful and attentive in deciding to reopen schools,” KPAI Commissioner Retno Listyarti said.

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