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Pakistan

Web Desk
January 14, 2021

Shafqat Mehmood says coronavirus situation to determine reopening of schools

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, Jan 14, 2021
Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood. — PID/File

Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood on Thursday announced that a meeting will be held tomorrow (Friday) between education and health ministers to review the coronavirus situation in Pakistan.

In a statement on Twitter, he said that the situation has to be reviewed before students can start going back to school.

His tweet came as a single question was on the lips of parents and students alike: "Are schools opening in Pakistan?"

The minister said: "While I desperately want education to continue, the final decision will be on health grounds. Students' well being will always be a priority."

On January 4, Mehmood had said that the government will make no compromise on children's health and another meeting will be held to review the latest coronavirus situation in the country.

The federal government had earlier announced a phase-wise plan to reopen educational institutes from January 18 which were closed on November 26 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Cases on the rise

Shafqat Mehmood's remarks come as Pakistan battles a second wave of the coronavirus with cases constantly on the rise.

The country reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases in nearly a month today.

Data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) showed that 3,097 people tested positive for COVID-19 across the country on January 13, raising the national tally to 511,921.

The last time Pakistan's single-day tally crossed the 3,000 mark was on December 18 last year when NCOC reported 3,179 infections.

Punjab minister ensures strict compliance of protocols

A day earlier, Punjab education minister Murad Raas assured parents of strict compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols and urged them to send children to school.

Murad Raas, in a video message, said: “We are reopening schools from January 18 and in the first phase, students of high school will resume classes. In the second phase, the students of primary and elementary schools will resume in-person learning while universities will start classes from Febuary 1.”

The provincial minister said no other sector has shown more discipline than schools in implementing COVID-19 SOPs and told the parents that the government remained vigilant on this throughout the period when educational institutes were opened previously.

"I request parents to send their kids to schools. The corona SOPs will be followed more strictly than before and we are making the best arrangements for the safety of the children,” he added.