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Indonesia’s kindergarten explores new ways to teach

SEMARANG, INDONESIA: As schools struggle to keep pupils engaged during the pandemic, a kindergarten on Indonesia's Java island is getting pupils back in the classroom using makeshift transparent cubicles and sending teachers on home visits with social distancing barriers.

Permata Hati Kindergarten, a private kindergarten with 135 pupils in the city of Semarang in Central Java province, is allowing six pupils per day to spend time in the classroom, giving children a chance to attend school once every two weeks.

Central Java has recorded Indonesia's fourth highest number of infections and at least 287 people have died in Semarang alone. Accompanied by parents, the children sit within protective boxes made using plastic sheets that are disinfected after each classroom session.

"The transparent box is one of our commitments to prioritising health protocols," said headmistress Hindarwati.

Everyone attending the school is required to wear a mask, face shield and gloves, and have temperature checks.

Parents uncomfortable with sending their children to school can choose home learning with online sessions via video conferencing applications like Zoom.

The kindergarten also sends teachers to visit students at their homes, with portable protective screens for social distancing.

Indonesia's number of cases topped 100,000 yesterday.

The health ministry reported 1,525 new cases and 57 deaths, taking the total number of infections and fatalities to 100,303 and 4,838, respectively. - REUTERS

WORLD