Reopening schools on August 15 will challenge govt’s writ, says Saeed Ghani

August 14, 2020

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani has appealed to the associations of private schools in the province to adhere to the decision reached by the federal and all provincial governments in consensus...

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Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani has appealed to the associations of private schools in the province to adhere to the decision reached by the federal and all provincial governments in consensus to reopen schools from September 15, 2020, after noticing a decline in the severity of the prevailing countrywide coronavirus emergency.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the education minister said that the decision of the private school associations to reopen their educational institutions from August 15, 2020, had caused serious distress for the concerned students and their parents in the province.

He said that the Sindh government had duly conveyed the problems of the private schools to the federal government and its all-out support would always remain with the privately run educational institutions in the province.

He said that the meeting of the National Coordination Committee had decided with consensus to reopen educational institutions in the country from September 15. The consultation process carried out for the purpose involved the federal education minister, education ministers of the provinces, educationists, and health experts.

He said that a similar consultative session would be held on September 7, 2020, to again analyse the coronavirus situation prevailing at that time to review the decision to reopen schools from September 15.

Ghani said the decision to this effect had been reached to safeguard health of the children against the viral disease. He added that the decision to reopen private schools from August 15, 2020, was tantamount to challenging the writ of the government. “We don’t want to take any such action, which could cause harm to these schools and their students.”

He expressed the hope that all the associations of private schools would extend full cooperation to the government in this regard and would reopen their schools from September 15. Various associations of private schools have recently announced their decision to reopen schools tomorrow (August 15).

On August 4, two private school associations announced the reopening of schools on August 15, with a policy to maintain standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the coronavirus spread. In separate press conferences, the Private Schools Action Committee (PSAC) and the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) maintained that a further closure of the educational institutions would push the teachers and other staffers towards serious crisis.

PSAC leader Pervez Haroon said the COVID-19 situation was getting better in Pakistan as “according to a Gallup survey 74 per cent of parents want to send their children to school”. Haroon said schools had incurred losses due to a prolonged closure and “the industry couldn't tolerate it anymore”. He said a committee had prepared 31 SOPs that would be maintained to reopen the schools. He said the decision was taken at a conference of the private schools’ bodies in Islamabad on July 20 as “neither the federal nor the provincial government paid any heed to the concerns of the schools”.

APPSMA leader Syed Tariq Shah demanded of the government to waive all taxes on the education industry and “provide schools with easy loans to help recover the losses incurred during the lockdown”. Shah asked the government to issue a notification for the reopening of the educational institutions from August 15, “respecting the decision of the private schools' associations”.



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