Universities Resume In-Person Learning With Strict Health Protocols – Informial


Information (The Jakarta Post)

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Mon 11 October 2021

2021-10-11
08:01
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Informative

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Indonesian universities are expected to start limited face-to-face learning (PTM) this semester for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Limited PTM, a blended learning program that combines online and offline conferencing, is implemented in strict compliance with health protocols and public activity restrictions (PPKM) applicable to each region.

The government stressed that universities should implement the limited PTM in stages, from preparation to implementation and monitoring, as stipulated in Circular No. 4/2021 on the organization of the PTM for the academic year. 2021-2022, released by Higher Education, Research and Technology. Director General of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology.

To optimize health protection, universities in designated PPKM levels 1-3 regions are advised to form their own COVID-19 management working group to implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) of health protocols on the campus. In addition, students at universities implementing the limited PTM must be in good health and fully immunized.

Universities must strictly enforce health protocols, such as providing sanitation facilities on campus, reducing narrow meeting points and avoiding crowds in addition to wearing masks and maintaining distance. They must also limit classes to a maximum capacity of 50% and verify that students from other areas are in good health and have quarantined themselves for 14 days or have passed a swab test. Universities must also provide temporary isolation facilities and emergency procedures for students.

Parisyanti “Paris” Nurwardani, secretary to the ministry’s director general of higher education, said that according to a survey conducted in July 2021, 63.9% of universities nationwide have implemented the limited PTM program with an approach of blended learning, while 82% stated their willingness to implement limited PTM.

“This was good news for all of us, so the learning loss in universities will not be too great,” Paris said.

The survey was conducted to find out the needs and monitor the situation on the ground with a view to developing guidelines for the implementation of the limited PTM program.

According to Paris, the survey results show that universities were preparing the support facilities and access to the implementation of health protocols for the limited PTM program, for example by procuring handwashing facilities, disinfectants and devices for measuring body temperature.

“[This includes] get transparent face masks for deaf students, ”added Paris. “To date, only 23 percent of universities offer this facility, so [the ministry] will help with the supply.

Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) rector Dr Reini Wirahadikusumah praised the resumption of classes under the limited PTM program, which she said was essential to maximize the quality of the environment. learning.

“Based on our introspection over the past 18 months, the achievement of the learning outcomes has been sufficient as we are generally ready on the tech side. However, the learning atmosphere, which is just as important, was lacking. So we have to fight to regain that, ”she said.

Reini also stressed that no “euphoria” was detected during the implementation of the limited PTM program and that the institute would ensure compliance with all existing regulations. She said that in addition to regular monitoring of adherence to health protocol, ITB management also made it mandatory for all students to receive at least one dose of the vaccine.

“Vaccination was defined not only as a requirement to enter campus, but also to protect health and safety. [campus environment], so that students can be ambassadors for vaccination and health protocols, ”she said.

ITB student Ilham Subandoro, who is also a high performing student at the national level, said he was ready to promote the new guidelines. So he called on his peers to implement Limited PTM and champion campus health protocols as ambassadors to set a good example for other students. He also encouraged them to use their social media accounts to campaign for campus health protocols.

In addition, he said, the limited PTM program should be seen as an opportunity to maximize the university’s learning potentials.

“We have to motivate each other and motivate each other. The pandemic is no longer an obstacle to becoming a successful player. The key is to adapt and use opportunities, such as participating in online competitions that were held during the pandemic. “

Andreas Tambah, an expert from the National Commission of Education, said that while the limited PTM program was a good opportunity to optimize learning, students were still advised to exercise caution as they were still living with COVID -19.

“Students are expected to improve their health literacy, especially as it relates to the coronavirus, so that they are able to protect themselves and those around them. As for the universities, the management must guarantee the health of the students while continuing the learning process, ”he said.


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