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Newsletter June 2020 | Is Indonesia Ready for Economic Recovery?

Dear readers,

The CIPS team had a wonderful break over Eid ul Fitr and I hope you feel as refreshed as we are!

Starting this year’s second half, we will focus less on the pandemic in Indonesia. Instead, we plan to put our resources into supporting economic recovery.

Source: Katadata

Last Monday, the Jakarta government allowed offices to restart with half their staff present. Bekasi city even got the green lights to gradually reopen its shopping centers, but of course with health protocols. Some are worried this is all too rushed, but people need an income! We must ensure they don’t follow millions of fellow citizens into poverty.

CIPS focus has always been on the economic welfare and prosperity of the poorest. Our first webinar in June had to be about the recovery of the industry. When the number of registrations climbed up to 300, CIPS had reached a new record.

The Minister of Industry had confirmed to speak but was last-minute replaced by a high-level official who acknowledged there is still so much to do. He discussed with the chairman of Indonesia’s Employers Association and the private sector how to maintain operations of companies, from small businesses to manufacturing industries. Health protocols, our researcher insisted, are at the core of the solutions.

Meanwhile, the government is more cautious in the education sector. Schools were almost to reopen with strict safety protocols. Yes, almost, because not long after it was announced, we saw the decision postponed.

Classroom doors remain shut and learning still happens at home, so CIPS developed some recommendations for the authorities. Their support must consider the situation of low-cost private schools and enable teachers to cope with the new practices. Our researcher discussed this with school principals and ministry officials in yet another event. That webinar had 600 people signing up. The record from the previous webinar had lasted only a week.

CIPS will arrange two more online discussions on education policies soon, as this subject is so important. Maybe we aren’t just heading for a ‘new normal’. Maybe this is an opportunity for much-needed structural reforms in Indonesia’s education sector!

(Teachers try disinfection chamber at SBBR, Bina Pusaka Elementary. Source: Bina Pusaka)

Speaking of learning. CIPS will soon recruit six trainees for our Emerging Policy Leaders Program! Watch out for the advertisement, if you are a young Indonesian who wants to grow critical thinking skills and become an analyst of Indonesia’s public policy! Special thanks go to those of you who’ve given us their support and paved the way for this program!

Salam hangat,

Rainer Heufers


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