42 teachers die from Covid-19, FSGI: If no protocol budget, postpone face-to-face activities

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The Indonesian Teachers Union Federation (FSGI) revealed that until August 18, 2020, as many 42 teachers and 2 education personnel had died due to being infected with coronavirus or Covid-19.

FSGI Deputy Secretary General Fahriza Marta Tanjung stated that the dead victims came from a number of regions. Among them are Pariaman and Padang Panjang, West Sumatra; West Kalimantan; Pati, Rembang, and Kudus, Central Java; Madiun, East Java; Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; Garut, West Java; and DKI Jakarta.

FSGI assessed that the protection of teachers during this pandemic is very weak.

She said a number of policies indicated the weak protection of educators against Covid-19. In the period until August, FSGI found that there were still many schools that remained open, but did not properly implement health protocols, such as allowing teachers to teach by removing masks, not maintaining physical distancing in class, lack of sanitation facilities. Besides that, as a local government (pemda) requires teachers to continue to attend school every day to do fingerprint absences.

She stated that if such conditions are allowed, more and more teachers will be exposed to Covid-19 and even die.

In fact, teachers are entitled to protection in accordance with Article 39 of Law Number 14 of 2005 and Regulation of the Minister of Education and Culture Number 10 of 2017.

“Protection is not only in terms of law or welfare, but includes protection from the spread of Covid-19,” Fahriza said.

Therefore, she continued, FSGI recommends that local governments and private foundations do not require teachers to enter schools to conduct learning via the internet as long as the teacher is able to carry out basic tasks from home.

In addition, she asked the government to implement strict supervision in plans to open schools for face-to-face learning.

“The government is expected to impose sanctions on those who violate the rules, especially in efforts to open schools,” she added.

Meanwhile, FSGI Secretary-General Heru Purnomo also appealed to the central and regional governments to pay more attention to teachers and education personnel. He asked that teachers and education personnel be given a swab test facility. In addition, he requested the government to provide a budget for each school to have sanitation facilities such as handwashing stations and clean toilets.

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