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Batu Bara District Launches Program on Pandemic Preparedness and Response for Safe School Reopening



BATU BARA DISTRICT, 15 April 2021 – District Educational Office (DEO) of Batu Bara District, in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC) and with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Hygiene Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC), officially launched the project “Harnessing the power of hygiene and behavior change in schools to fight COVID-19” at the Hall of the Regent’s Residence in Batu Bara District.

The event was attended by 54 participants which comprises of representatives from 20 model schools, DEO, Department of Health in District level and GIZ team, and successfully covered by more than 75 local media (newspapers and local TV). The MoEC’s Director of Basic Education and GIZ-HBCC Deputy Regional Manager also virtually attended via zoom meeting.

Deputy Regional Manager HBCC-GIZ Program, Dr. Johann Leonardia expressed appreciation to MoEC and DEO for their support on this project as well as to the selected schools who were willing to model the implementation of these guidelines and interventions. “Through commitment in undertaking this joint effort, we can altogether better learn how these measures can be best managed by the school community and its stakeholders. And in doing so, valuable, and practical lessons on how best to realize national guidelines for reopening schools can be gained and shared with the rest of Indonesia, the rest of Asia, and the rest of the world.”, he added.

Director of Primary Schools of MoEC, Ms. Sri Wahyuingsih emphasized that health protocol shall always be monitored and become a long-term habit for the students. She reiterated MoEC’s full support for this project which is in line with the realisation of six values of Pancasila student profile. She added that Batu Bara District is one of the two selected districts in Indonesia to implement this joint effort.

The project launch event included school orientation for 20 model schools and workshop on Preparedness and Responses (PPR) measures in schools to ensure these schools can start face-to-face learning activities safely for children. With support from (GIZ) GmbH and HBCC, the DEO also distributed the PPR packages for initial 4 pilot schools, which includes portable hand washing facility (WASHaLOT 3.0), hygiene kit package for cleaners and toilet users, and Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials. The PPR packages for the remaining schools will be distributed in June 2021 before the start of the next academic year. These interventions are in line with MoEC’s national guidelines for reopening schools during pandemic.