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Indonesia reopens its borders to international visitors with limited valid visas

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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After the Ministry of Law and Human Rights published a ministerial decree reopening applications for tourist and limited stay visas for fully-vaccinated tourists, Indonesia has opened a handful of its borders to foreigners.

“Previously, only diplomats and service members were permitted to enter the nation. With the issuing of Ministerial Regulation No. 34/2021 today, persons with valid tourist and restricted stay visas can now enter Indonesia as well “Arya Pradhana Anggakara, spokeswoman for the Directorate General of Immigration, said in a statement on Thursday.

Furthermore, the government has managed to establish international borders at six transportation hubs, including the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten province, the Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi province, seaports in Batam, Riau Islands province, and Nunukan, North Kalimantan province, as well as land cross-border posts in the area.

According to a recent press release from the Transportation Ministry’s spokesperson Adita Irawati, the aforementioned seaports and land crossings reopened for international travelers on Thursday, and the two airports on Friday.

Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, also stated on Friday that the government plans to reopen Bali to international tourists in October due to a recent decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.

“If the number of cases continues to fall, we are sure that Bali will reopen in October,” Panjaitan said during a virtual press conference, adding that Indonesia will prioritize foreign tourists from countries with managed COVID-19 instances.

Travelers, both Indonesians, and foreigners, who want to enter the archipelago must be fully vaccinated, as well as show vaccine certificates and negative PCR test results taken no more than 72 hours before the departure time, according to a press release issued by the Transportation Ministry on Thursday.

Upon arrival, the tourists must undergo additional PCR testing and must stay in quarantine for eight days if the results are negative. On the eighth day, another negative PCR test result will be necessary. Foreigners and Indonesians alike must complete the Electronic Health Alert Card (E-HAC) within the PeduliLindungi contact tracing program.

A foreigner must also produce proof of health insurance coverage, which is anticipated to cover the individual’s health expenses, including COVID-19, while in Indonesia. Between September 15 and 17, the Immigration Office at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport registered 974 foreigners entering Indonesia and 874 foreigners departing the country. Meanwhile, the airport recorded 2,961 Indonesians returning home and 3,418 Indonesians departing the nation.

“In total, 15,343 foreigners entered Indonesia between August 1 and September 17, with 22,122 foreigners leaving the country over the same period,” Sam Fernando, chief of the immigration office’s public relations and information technology section, told the media on Friday.

During the same time period, 51,658 Indonesians returned to the country and 50,925 Indonesians left the archipelago.

In comparison to the previous month, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has decreased significantly this week. The Health Ministry reported 3,835 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 219 deaths, compared to over 20,000 new infections just one month earlier.

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Top10 students need to become teachers: Dr. Aishath Ali

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Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali has stated that students who were placed in the Top 10 need to become teachers and educators.

She made the statement speaking in the Top Achiever’s Award 2019 ceremony, held Sunday night.

In her address, the Minister said that Maldives had the capacity to press ahead in academic endeavors, and one of the ways to do this was to invest in teachers. Therefore, she said, it was imperative that the best minds present head towards teaching and educating.

The Minister said that in the past 30 years, several thousand Maldivians had been placed in the global top ten. Success, she added, was not solely dependent on academic achievement but also on how much one contributed to the society and country.

Dr. Aishath further commended the parents for their unwavering belief in their children and the innumerable sacrifices.

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Maldives to host an annual invitational football tournament

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Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof says that the President has instructed him to host an annual invitational football tournament.

Speaking to the press, Minister Mahloof said the success of the Oooredoo SAFF Championship highlighted the passion the country has toward football. This, he said, was the core factor for the success of the tournament. Based on this, the Minister said that the President had given a recommendation that the Maldives must host an annual invitational tournament.

Mahloof did not reveal additional details. However, he said that Bassam Adeel Jaleel, President of the Football Association of the Maldives, we’re hammering out the details.

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President says government stands ready to support all students to achieve their ambitions in their field of choice

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that his government has and will continue to stand ready to fully support all students to achieve their career ambitions in their field of choice. The President made this statement tonight at the official awarding ceremony for A-Level Top Achievers of 2019 held at Thaajuddeen School. President Solih said that the students, now graduates, are at an important crossroads where they have to contemplate and decide on the road to take for their future. He urged students to make full use of the higher education and training opportunities offered to them by the government, in the Maldives or abroad, and fulfil their dreams in their field of choice.

President Solih congratulated all the top achievers who received awards, naming them the true guests of honour at the ceremony tonight. He stated that in addition to the students, their educators, including teachers, lead teachers and principals, and parents also deserve praise and appreciation for enabling the students to reach their dreams. The President extended his gratitude to all educators and parents for their diligence in helping the younger generations achieve their potential.

Speaking further, President Solih advised students to align their goals with the fast pace of today’s world, utilising modern technology and science for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to create openings and develop themselves in professions that hold their interest. He urged students to aim to use the tools and opportunities available to them in today’s modern world in innovative and creative ways rather than chasing after a specific job immediately following graduation. The President described diversity and innovation as crucial for swift economic and national development, calling on parents and educators to foster creativity and innovative thinking in whichever field holds the childs’ interests.

President Solih also underlined the central role of teachers and educators in the nation, stating that there are 9119 teachers in the Maldives today; 6498 permanent Maldivian teachers, 1730 expatriate teachers and 891 temporary teachers. He expressed concern that the number of temporary teachers is on the rise, and that a lack of interest in the teaching field could lead to students not receiving the ideal education and nurture they need to achieve their individual dreams. He revealed that the government aims to conduct research into the state of the education sector and teaching vocation to determine the reason for the scarcity of permanent Maldivian educators. He further urged more Maldivians to join the vocation, stating that the younger generations need Maldivian teachers who can train them in the holy principles of Islam and foster future generations of innovative, empathetic and patriotic individuals.

Concluding his statement, President Solih entreated parents and teachers to support the government to shape the younger generations into creative thinkers who can surmount the challenges of the 21st Century, praying to Almighty Allah to bless the efforts.

First Lady Fazna Ahmed and Vice President Faisal Naseem accompanied the President in conferring certificates and awards to the top achievers at tonight’s ceremony.

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