A teacher wearing a face shield talks with her pupil through a plastic barrier as she visits her pupil at their house in Semarang, Indonesia. Reuters
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 also 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, according to government data.
Teachers and pupils take part on a face-to-face class session using plastic barriers in Semarang. Reuters
Accompanied by parents, the children sit within protective boxes made using plastic sheets that are disinfected after each classroom session to get guidance to direct their learning.
"The transparent box is one of our commitments for prioritising health protocols," said headmistress Hindarwati, who uses one name like many Indonesians.
Everyone attending the school is required to wear a mask, face shield, gloves and have temperature checks.
Parents uncomfortable with risking sending their children to school can choose home learning with online sessions via video conferencing applications like Zoom.
"I'm not bored at all, because I can do Zoom calls with all my friends, I can also meet my teacher. I love it," said five-year-old Jihan Notharisa.
The learning sessions include dancing, music and Koran reading and the kindergarten also sends teachers to visit students at their homes, with portable protective screens for social distancing.
"As parents, we strongly support this activity, so that our children can meet with their teacher in person even though the time is limited," said Nita Dwi Nurhayati, a mother of a pupil.
Most schools in Indonesia have not resumed full-time physical classes yet unless in "green zone" locations with fewer coronavirus cases. Overall, Indonesia has reported 98,778 COVID-19 cases and 4,781 deaths, the highest toll in East Asia.Reuters
Unable to afford smartphones, and with limited Internet access in remote villages, many students were unable to attend online lessons. So parents turned to the education department, pleading for help.
"For me, they should be given a vaccine. I'm talking about the months of October, November and December," President Duterte said in a mix of Filipino and English over the new possible date for the opening of classes.
Two sisters in western El Salvador are taking their love of learning to great heights: every day they climb a mountain, then scramble up an olive tree to get a signal to access their online college lessons.
Of the almost 2,000 samples, only 12 had antibodies, said Reinhard Berner from the University Hospital of Dresden, adding the first results gave no evidence that school children play a role in spreading the virus particularly quickly.
"I could have performed this profession abroad but I wanted to do it in Afghanistan because there are no female tattoo artists in the country," she said. "I believe it's not only men who can apply tattoos. Women can do it too."
An 18-metre "Gundam" robot that can walk and move its arms was unveiled in Japan on Monday amid hopes that it will help invigorate tourism hit by COVID-19.
The Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker said he's been doing his own haircuts for more than two decades.