Authors: Nawangsari Putri, Yustina
Reviewers: Farid Al-Firdaus, Dinda Ganisawati Javada, Dwi Martutiningrum, Ahmad Awaludin Mufid
Indonesian Pillar 2045 on Human Development Towards Science and Technology and Sustainable Economic Development
Indonesia needs reliable human resources in order to realize the vision of Golden Indonesia in 2045. Smart, physically and mentally healthy, strong, resilient, and agile young people are needed. Thus, the provision of good health and quality of life for the population is absolutely necessary. Moreover, in the age of a century, Indonesia is projected to experience a demographic bonus, where its population will reach 318.96 million people (Ministry of National Development Planning (PPN) and Statistics Indonesia (BPS).
A growing working-age population dominates the age group of the population, such as the Alpha generation (born between 2010 and 2024). Based on the superior human resource index by Datanesia in 2022, Jakarta was among the 10 regions with the highest superior human resource index and resulted in a 57.1 average between 2019 and 2021. The Alpha generation, who are living in Jakarta, are expected to be bright future leaders in 2045. However, this will not be realized if the current air quality is poorly maintained.
Figure 1. Map of Jakarta
(source : thejakartapost.com/news/2012/11/14/inner-city-toll-road-plan-poor-logic.html)
Deterioration of Air Quality in Jakarta
As reported by the WHO, Southeast Asian countries are known as low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Most of the LMICs have problems with air pollution because they have inadequate awareness of health and the environment since their concern is to fulfill their fundamental needs. Moreover, the air quality levels of Southeast Asian countries, particularly Indonesia, have not complied with WHO guidelines for health standards for the last few years. As stated by IQAir data, as of September 9, 2023, Indonesia ranked as the fourth most polluted country in the world.
Jakarta is not only the center of government but is also known as the center of the economy and business. Thus, many people live in Jakarta and other surrounding suburban cities. According to data from BPS, in 2023, it is estimated that about 62,183 million inhabitants, including pregnant women and children, will reside in this area. Meanwhile, the worsening air problems in Jakarta in recent months have become the world’s biggest concern.
Figure 2. Pollution Level in Jakarta Between August and September 2023
(source : iqair.com/indonesia/jakarta)
Figure 2 shows that within a period of time, the average level of air pollution in the Jakarta region was higher than 120. According to WHO standards, the Jakarta region’s air quality belongs to the unhealthy category, and there is a very high risk that people will get diseases of the lungs and respiratory system, particularly children.
Syuhada et al. (2023) stated that children are categorized as the most vulnerable group to air pollution disasters because of two factors. Firstly, children develop organs and systems like the heart, lungs, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system during their growth period. Secondly, the ratio of respiratory rate to body mass is higher in children than in adults. Lastly, there is growing evidence that air pollution can have a negative impact on children’s growth and development, even before they are born. Children exposed to air pollution during pregnancy or in their early years are more likely to be stunted, have a low birth weight, or be born preterm. These early-life challenges can have long-lasting consequences for children’s health and well-being.
- Provide campaigns in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions in partnership with the government (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry), NGOs (e.g., Surfaid, Greenpeace, or WALHI), Posyandu, and Karang Taruna to educate students at school and young generation (children and teenagers) at residential neighborhoods about the short- and long-term dangers of air pollution and the health protocol through public service advertisement in mass media or television and direct counseling. In addition, the activities will consist of:
- Sharing knowledge about the causes of air pollution, the potential risks, and how to reduce air pollution, for example, encourages students and children to walk, ride their bikes, or use public transportation to go to school and other activities, and enlightens students about the positive impacts of trees.
- Providing KN95 masks for children at schools and other public facilities, e.g., malls, markets, and playgrounds. Masks can protect children from the health risks of air pollution.
- Conducting routine health screenings or check for symptoms of air pollution exposure, such as coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath, by Posyandu officers.
- Early childhood environmental education
This educational program focuses on educating students and young children about environmental sustainability. This class might consist of practical lessons, such as how to plant a tree, go on nature walks, and so on. This program can be implemented in schools, preschools, and at home. Early childhood environmental education will create opportunities for students to take action to protect the environment and reduce air pollution’s adverse effects. This program requires collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
- Blended Learning Program
Blended learning programs combine offline classes (students go to school and have physical interaction with teachers in the same room) and online classes. Students have the flexibility to attend the class online when the air quality is getting worse. The program will be one of the education system’s solutions to protect children’s health from the adverse effects of air pollution and reduce vehicle carbon emissions. This program requires collaboration from the Ministry of Communication and Informatics with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.
- Staggered school and working start hours
Staggered school and working start hours would help spread out traffic and enhance air quality. For example, students could start at 7:00 AM and employees at 9:00 AM. This program will need support from parents, industries, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, and the Ministry of Transportation
- Diversified School buses
School buses are the safest mode of transportation for children, and it also help mitigate air pollution. Parents don’t have to take their children to school using their personal vehicles. This program requires collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology and the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance.
In 2045, the Alpha generation is predicted to be a promising group of leaders. If the current air quality is not properly maintained, though, this will not happen. There are some recommended policies to safeguard the health of our future leaders :
- Provide campaigns in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions to educate students about the short- and long-term dangers of air pollution and the importance of maintaining health from the dangers of air pollution
- Early childhood environmental education
- Blended learning program
- Staggered school and working start hours
- Diversified school buses
- Syuhada, G., Akbar, A., Hardiawan, D., Pun, V., Darmawan, A., Heryati, S. H. A., Siregar, A. Y. M., Kusuma, R. R., Driejana, R., Ingole, V., Kass, D., & Mehta, S. (2023). Impacts of Air Pollution on Health and Cost of Illness in Jakarta, Indonesia. International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(4), 2916. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20042916
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