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Web Desk
January 15, 2021

9th to 12th classes to start from Jan 18; primary schools to reopen from Feb 1


Web Desk
Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood. File photo

ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the increase in coronavirus cases, the federal government has decided to postpone the reopening of primary schools for a week while classes from 9th to 12th will start from January 18 as planned.

A high-level meeting was held today at the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) to review the latest situation of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Key decisions

  • 9th to 12th classes to resume from Jan 18
  • Classes upto 8th grade will now start from Feb 1
  • Higher education classes to resume from Feb 1
  • Another meeting convened next week to review positivity rates in different cities

Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, after holding a meeting with all the provincial ministers and health officials, said the coronavirus positivity rate is still high in the country that is why the reopening of primary schools have been delayed for a week.

"After a detailed analysis of the situation by health and education ministers we have decided to start classes for 9,10,11,12 as per announced schedule of January 18. Priority is being given to them because of board exams that have been postponed to May, June," he explained.

The minister said higher education institutes will resume in-person learning from February 1.

“Everyone is concerned about the loss of education during the previous lockdown but we have to strike a balance so as to ensure the safety of students,” Mehmood said, adding the current positivity rate has come down to 6.10%, which was 7.14% when the educational institutes were shut on November 26.

The minister, however, once again clarified that this year students would not be promoted without exams.

Cities with higher positivity rate

Shafqat Mehmood said COVID-19 positivity rate varies in different cities and a review meeting has been convened next week at the NCOC.

“The concerned authorities would again analyse the situation before allowing the education institutes to reopen,” he said.

On January 4, he 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.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has assured the parents that it will ensure strict compliance of COVID-19 SOPs in schools.