Mixed Lectures to Open Soon, Campus Ensures Cluster Prevention

The central government’s push for universities to immediately open offline classes was followed up with various preparations. Even though conditions are better, the lecture atmosphere is like before the pandemic, it seems that it will take time to be brought back.

In Yogyakarta, for example, according to a survey of the Region V Higher Education Service Institute (LLDikti), the majority of universities are still asking for a mix scheme. In this scheme, a small number of students can attend lectures on campus, while the majority are still online.

Plt.  Head of LLDikti Region V, Bhima Widyo Andoko.  (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi Sucahyo)

Plt. Head of LLDikti Region V, Bhima Widyo Andoko. (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi Sucahyo)

Acting Head of LLDikti Region V, Bhima Widyo Andoko, said that universities in the Yogyakarta area seem to be considering their facilities and infrastructure. In addition, the academic community also views the scheme as important, citing health issues.

“Usually, most offline ones are vocational-based, because they skill. Must come to the lab, to places to improve their competence. So, those who request offline are usually from vocational universities,” explained Bhima in Yogyakarta.

While universities outside of vocational schools tend to apply a mixed scheme, or some take offline classes, some remain online.

UGM campus.  (Public Relations doc photo)

UGM campus. (Public Relations doc photo)

“Most of them ask for a mix, 25 percent are in class, 75 percent are still online. Later, gradually, it can be 50 percent and 50 percent,” added Bhima.

Bhima also ensured that the higher education sector always coordinates with the central government regarding levels in PPKM. If there is a decrease in level, the university will adjust the offline tuition scheme. However, all new steps will be decided, through a survey beforehand, including next year’s tuition scheme.

“We see developments in the second semester, will it improve or what. If the vaccination is 100 percent, you can go to normal lectures, but it must be on conditions,” he added.

A number of female students wash their hands during the coronavirus pandemic before taking the college entrance exam in Banda Aceh on July 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

A number of female students wash their hands during the coronavirus pandemic before taking the college entrance exam in Banda Aceh on July 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

In Central Java, LLDikti Region VI provides monitoring data related to COVID-19 through a special page on the internet. The general public can access this lama, which contains inspection data rapid and swab PCR, as well as vaccinations from lecturers and education staff at private universities (PTS).

“This data is the result of PTS reporting through the LLDikti Region VI system, which can be used to measure the extent to which universities are prepared to welcome PTM,” said Secretary of LLDikti Region VI, Dr Lukman ST MHum in an official statement.

Lukman hopes that the ease of access to information on the readiness to hold this lecture becomes a control function. In addition, the trust of students’ parents is expected to grow and allow their children to attend lectures. LLDikti Region VI also continues to monitor the preparation of mixed lectures at various campuses in Central Java.

A security guard wearing a face shield checks a visitor's temperature amid concerns over COVID-19, before a college entrance exam in Banda Aceh on July 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

A security guard wearing a face shield checks a visitor’s temperature amid concerns over COVID-19, before a college entrance exam in Banda Aceh on July 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

Prevent Learning Loss

The government has indeed opened access for universities to hold face-to-face lectures. In an official statement at the end of September, Spokesperson for the COVID-19 Task Force, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, said that the opening of access was specifically for universities whose areas were included in PPKM levels 1 to 3.

Spokesman for the COVID-19 Task Force, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, said that various easing of community activities must be carried out carefully with the implementation of strict procedures (Mouab).

Spokesman for the COVID-19 Task Force, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, said that various easing of community activities must be carried out carefully with the implementation of strict procedures (Mouab).

“In order to reduce risk learning loss, decreasing student learning abilities, and maintaining the quality of student learning,” said Wiku.

The government has set a number of technical regulations regarding this matter. First, the provision of sanitation facilities, reducing closed gathering places and crowds. Second, the campus community is required to wear masks and maintain a distance. Third, the maximum class capacity is limited to 50 percent. Fourth, campuses were also asked to form a COVID-19 Task Force.

The task of the Task Force on campus, said Wiku, is to discipline the application of health protocols, issue guidelines for campus activities, provide temporary isolation rooms and support emergency actions for the academic community on campus.

“And ensure students from outside the region are in good health and have carried out self-quarantine for 14 days or test swab,” he added.

According to the technical rules, the campus also adapts. One of them is the State Islamic University (UIN) Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta which will start opening limited classes on October 11.

The Vice Chancellor of this campus, Prof. Dr. Iswandi Syahputra mentioned a number of policies taken, such as limiting classes to a maximum of 20 students. In the classroom, the distance between seats is at least 1.5 meters, the windows are open and there is no temperature control. The campus also provides two automatic body temperature detectors in each building.

The Chancellor of UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta is monitoring the preparation for face-to-face lectures which will start on October 11, 2021. (Photo: Courtesy/Humas UIN Suka)

The Chancellor of UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta is monitoring the preparation for face-to-face lectures which will start on October 11, 2021. (Photo: Courtesy/Humas UIN Suka)

hand washing facilities, hand sanitizer in each room, a sign of a safe distance between people, and a sign of the way in and out of each building is provided. In each faculty, officers oversee the implementation of health protocols. The campus also adds facilities, such as: pen tablet, in every classroom, video conferencing facilities, as well as hotspot or wifi. The cafeteria and photocopying services are temporarily closed.

“Before holding face-to-face lectures, we want to make sure everything runs safely, comfortably and according to health protocols. We checked every faculty, the result is that 95 percent of the faculties are ready to carry out face-to-face lectures,” said Iswandi Syahputra at the local campus.

Restoring the Academic Atmosphere

In a discussion on face-to-face learning in universities by the Merdeka Barat 9 Forum, Thursday (7/10), ITB Chancellor Prof. Reini Wirahadikusumah ensured that the campus was ready. More specifically, the readiness is from the technology side. However, Reini said that there is something that cannot be replaced in online learning, namely the academic atmosphere.

“Issue academic atmosphere this is something exactly we are aware of, being something lost, of which the value is enormous. And this is something we have to fight for, “said Reini.

ITB Rector Prof Reini Wirahadikusumah in a screenshot.  (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

ITB Rector Prof Reini Wirahadikusumah in a screenshot. (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

He admitted that he did not overuse the words struggle, because it was not easy to restore the lost academic atmosphere. Not only students who lost, continued Reini, the lecturers also wanted to be able to discuss and debate more freely with their students.

“Surely we are very careful, there is no euphoria. Strictly follow applicable regulations. And also this is a period of transition. If conditions remain like this, we will get better. But if something goes bad, we have to put the brakes on,” he added.

Andreas Add from Komnas Pendidikan in the screenshot.  (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

Andreas Add from Komnas Pendidikan in the screenshot. (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

In the same discussion, Andreas Add from Komnas Pendidikan said that the opportunity to reopen classes in higher education is a good opportunity. On the same occasion at the primary and secondary education levels, schools had recorded around 1,300 COVID-19 clusters. However, because universities are organizing lectures, Andreas is optimistic that the atmosphere will be different.

“Because those who will do it are students, who of course know exactly what corona is, so they can prepare themselves well,” said Andreas.

Although assessing that students are more ready to take responsibility, Andreas also advised that campuses must really be able to guarantee the health of their students. [ns/ab]

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