Hariz Baharudin, Jakarta – Students in parts of the Indonesian capital will do their schooling from home, and more civil servants will also work remotely for a few days as the city hosts the 43rd Asean Summit and other related summits from Sept 2 to 7.
From Sept 4 to 7, more than 700 schools in South and Central Jakarta will have to implement distance learning, said Jakarta's acting governor Heru Budi Hartono last Wednesday.
Mr Heru Budi told reporters at Jakarta's City Hall that the move aims to reduce traffic congestion during the summit.
General traffic on several roads in the vicinity of the Jakarta Convention Centre, where the summit is to be held, will be diverted or blocked to allow for the smooth movement of Asean leaders and delegates.
The acting governor on Saturday also announced that for the duration of the summit, 75 per cent of the city's civil servants will have to work from home.
At the moment, half of Jakarta's civil servants work from home, a policy implemented earlier in August to help combat worsening pollution in the city.
Exemptions to the policy will be made for those working in certain public services, such as in hospitals.
Mr Heru Budi has appealed to the private sector to follow the government's example and implement similar work-from-home policies where possible.
Over the past few weeks, members of Indonesia's Presidential Secretariat have met several business associations to discuss this.
The city has been busy preparing for the summit, with banners erected on billboards, as well as at the side of roads and public transport nodes.
At the site of the iconic Selamat Datang (Welcome) monument in the city centre, a large structure bearing the words "Asean Indonesia 2023" has been put up.
These words are lit up at night and can be seen from the many malls, hotels and office buildings in the vicinity.
Mr Setya Utama, Secretary of the Ministry of State Secretariat, said last Friday that all preparations, including logistical arrangements and putting up of decorations, will be completed by Sept 3.
Besides the meetings at the convention centre, a gala dinner is planned for Asean leaders at Gelora Bung Karno City Forest, an urban green space near the city centre.
It is understood that officials will also have meetings at The St Regis Jakarta hotel as well as the Asean Secretariat office.
The Ministry of Transportation has made arrangements at two of Jakarta's airports, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, to welcome arriving state guests and ensure smooth traffic flow.
The Asean Summit, the bloc's 43rd, will be the second of two high-level meetings hosted by Indonesia as Asean chair in 2023.
Leaders of the group are expected to review the group's progress and discuss ways to further enhance collaboration in member states' digital and green economies.
Asean leaders will also be meeting their counterparts from partner countries including the United States, China, Japan, India and South Korea.