By: Endah Reni)*
Starting in early January 2022, students will return to PTM (face-to-face learning) after almost 2 years of online schooling. However, the implementation of these activities must be accompanied by strict Health Protocols (Prokes) to prevent the formation of new Corona clusters along with the Omicron variant.
At the beginning of the pandemic the most concern was the health of children because they were relatively easier to contract Corona. Therefore, the government decided to conduct PJJ (distance learning) for students from elementary to high school levels, as well as college students. All school activities are carried out via the Zoom application, Google meet, and WA.
However, at the beginning of 2022, the situation was relatively safe, as evidenced by the declining number of Corona patients. If in the middle of last year it reached more than 50,000 people per day, the number of Covid patients in January is ‘only’ 170 per day. Therefore, the DKI Jakarta Regional Government and many other regions have started to allow PTM (face-to-face learning).
We don’t have to worry about offline schools because they are guaranteed to comply with health protocols. Even in some schools, simulations were held beforehand to find out how the actual face-to-face learning atmosphere would be. With the simulation, it can be shown that everything is in accordance with the health protocol and the school building is sprayed with disinfectant first.
President Jokowi advised that face-to-face learning is allowed but must be carried out with strict procedures, even wearing double masks. In a sense, the masks used are not only disposable (such as N95) but are covered with cloth masks. The goal is to strengthen the filtration up to 90%.
Double masks are one of the main requirements in face-to-face learning because currently Corona continues to mutate and even reaches the Omicron variant. With double masks, it is hoped that it will stop the droplet rate from OTG so that children will be healthy even though school is offline. They were also given a message not to take off their masks when they were at school or on their way home.
One of the concerns during face-to-face learning is the social distancing protocol, so that students cannot sit at a table together (even three) like in the pre-pandemic period. The maximum number of students in a class is 50% so that only half of them enter, while the others do their homework. Therefore there is a shift system and not every day to school.
The students were also given a message not to chat at close range and in groups like before, so during break time the teacher was asked to monitor. It’s a bit difficult, especially for students who are still in kindergarten or elementary school grade 1, but everyone has to obey. They are also advised to bring lunch because the canteen is still closed, because there will certainly be a crowd there.
Apart from the student, teachers and other staff are also required to comply with health protocols. Don’t even make students wear masks (plus faceshields) but the teachers are lazy to wear masks. When a teacher becomes OTG, it is dangerous because he can transmit Corona to many students. Therefore, they are required to wear masks, wash their hands, and comply with other health protocols.
Face-to-face learning is the moment that students have been waiting for because to be honest they are tired of going through online schooling. However, everything must comply with health protocols such as wearing double masks, washing hands (or using hand sanitizer), maintaining distance, and other points. They will be able to go to normal schools and gain knowledge while being safe from Corona.
)*The author is a contributor to the Nusa Bangsa Institute