The federal government has called a meeting on 7th September to reopen educational institutions in Pakistan from 15th September. The government has summoned educational ministers from all the provinces to finalise the date of reopening of academic sessions.
According to Shafqat Mahmood Minister of Federal Education and Professional Training, the government will observe the current situation of the global pandemic in the country and decide whether or not reopening academic institutions is a safe option. However, schools are still instructed to follow SOPs from primary to matric classes.
Commenting on the current situation, the minister said that the government is well-aware of academic loss. However, ensuring the health of the students and their safety from the virus is the priority of the government. To make sure that students across the country stay safe from the deadly virus, the authorities are advised to follow strict guidelines for reopening schools, colleges, and universities.
He said and we quote, “It is extremely important that students should be integrated safely into the learning environment. It is suggested that the institutions should divide each class into two sections to maintain social distance between students”. He further added, “The government will take strict actions against institutions who fail to obey the government’s orders for a 20 percent discount in tuition fees”.
Meanwhile, the teachers and academic employees who have lost their jobs will be restored once the schools are completely functional.
In other news, the Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that the government is considering to reopen schools from 15th September 2020. He said that the committee has proposed that the academic institutions should be opened in phases. As such, the higher classes should be opened immediately while lower classes will be functional in stages.
However, the final decision will be made after the meeting of all provincial education ministers on 7th September that will be chaired by the Federal Education Minister of Pakistan.
“If the final decision is to open the educational institution on Sept 15, then classes IX and above should be opened in the first phase and one week after that on Sept 21, classes VI to VIII be opened and one week after that, that is Sept 28, the classes from pre-primary to V should be opened so that if any cases of COVID-19 come up during this time, we can control it immediately,” the committee recommended.