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Pakistan

Web Desk
September 19, 2020

Shafqat Mahmood warns against 'hasty decision' to close educational institutions

Pakistan

Web Desk
Sat, Sep 19, 2020
The minister says any decision the Centre will take on reopening educational institutions will be 'guided by the advice of the Health Ministry'

ISLAMABAD: Referring to Saeed Ghani's earlier announcement that Sindh was delaying the reopening of secondary schools, the Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Saturday warned that any hasty decision to close educational institutions will "destroy education”.

The minister tweeted that any decision the Centre will take on reopening educational institutions will be "guided by the advice of Health Ministry". He said that the six-month closure of educational institutions had deeply affected students.

"Health of students is our first priority and any decision we make will be guided by the advice of the Health Ministry. Having said that 6 months closure deeply affected the students. The decision to open was taken with great care. Any hasty decision to close will destroy education," he tweeted.

His tweet comes a day after Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani held a press conference to announce that the reopening of schools for sixth, seventh and eighth graders in Sindh was being delayed over fears of the spread of COVID-19.

He cited one of the reasons as educational institutes failing to implement COVID-19 SOPs after educational institutions were reopened in a phased manner from September 15.

Ghani had said that students from grades 6-8 will be asked to rejoin school on September 28, subject to the condition that the COVID-19 situation improves. He said in this period, the provincial government will see how the following of SOPs can be better enforced.

"Our purpose is not to shut down schools permanently [...] we simply seek for them to mend their ways when we see they are not fulfilling their responsibility. They should follow through with the commitments made.

"And the following of safety protocols is not to be done for our satisfaction. Our children go to these schools. It is a question of their health and safety," the education minister had underscored.