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Schools may be reopened on January 25: report

Educational institutions likely to be remained in three phases

By Web Desk
January 02, 2021

KARACHI:  The federal and provincial education ministers are expected to discuss reopening of educational institutions in three phase, Daily Jang reported on Saturday. 

The educational institutions have been closed since November, 2020 when the federal government, on recommendation of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), decided that schools would reopen on January 10 after winter break. 

But the rising spread of the novel coronavirus across the country has cast a shadow on that decision with federal and provincial education ministers saying that it January 11 reopening is "unlikely".

It may be noted here that although education is a provincial matter, under the 18th Amendment, the provinces adopted Centre's policy owing to a Supreme Court decision directing for a uniformed policy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The decision to reopen educational institutions would be reviewed at a meeting of the education ministers, chaired by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, on January 4 to discuss the national education policy. The final decision would be taken after advice from the health ministry on the matter.

Jang reported on Saturday that the education ministers would deliberate reopening educational institutions in phases. In the first phase, the primary level students would head back to school on January 25. The second phase would see middle schools reopening by February 4 and the higher education institutions would start by February 15 in the third phase.

Jang reported that it has been proposed to delay school and board examinations till last week of May or early June. The summer vacations would be shortened with the new academic year beginning in August.

Meanwhile, private schools associations across the country have opposed keeping schools shut.

On Thursday, a private school council demanded the government reopen schools on January 11 as planned and also sought an economic relief package. "The government should suspend the registration fee and taxes for a year."