Classroom Learning at Schools-Universities with Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination is Worth Supporting
Member of the House Commission IX Saleh Partaonan Daulay. Photo: Dok/Man
Member of the House Commission IX—dealing with education affairs, Saleh Partaonan Daulay, urged the government to pay more attention to the reopening of in-person classes (PTM) for schools and universities, saying the PTM was vital to improve the quality of education and human resources. He said the policy to reopen schools needs support from all stakeholders, as well as cross-ministerial coordination.
"Now we have Circular No. 4 of 2021 on PTM," Daulay said in a press statement on Tuesday (12/10/2021). "It emphasizes the importance of imposing strict health protocols in classroom learning to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and education staff."
The National Mandate Party (PAN) politician said that reopening school was indeed not an easy task, adding that those who want to attend school in-person have to have been declared safe, healthy, and free from Covid-19. One option is to require students, teachers, and administration staff to be regularly tested for Covid-19.
"At least, teachers, students, and administration staff are tested once or twice fortnightly," said Daulay, who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the House Ethics Council. "Schools can use antigen tests that are faster and cheaper. So, the Covid-19 transmission at schools and universities can be closely monitored."
In addition, students attending in-person classes must be prioritized to get vaccinated, especially for those aged above 12. It will be much better if all students who meet the health requirements get vaccinated. "Currently, the available vaccines are for children aged 12 and above. So, everyone from children aged 12 to college students should be vaccinated. They have to become the main targets of vaccination," he said.
The lawmaker from North Sumatera II constituency suggested that the Ministry of Health's Disease Control and Prevention Directorate General collaborate with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, to work on two significant issues: Covid-19 tests and vaccination. This collaboration plays an important role in speeding up the vaccination target the government has set, particularly by the end of this year.
"As far as I'm concerned, the Ministry of Health has sufficient budget to run the Covid-19 tests and vaccination," he said. "It's time to focus on rolling out Covid-19 tests to schools and universities. Thus, parents won’t have to be burdened with the cost of regularly testing their children. With regular and periodic testing, everybody will feel safe and secure and not worry about new Covid-19 clusters emerging from classroom learning." (tn/sf-mutt)