The five-day attendance rule set out by the Ministry of Education only applies to schools and not to universities, the Higher Education Commission said on Friday.
"The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan clarifies that all universities will continue to operate as per guidelines issued by the HEC earlier," it began by saying on a Twitter thread posted to clear up any misconceptions among students.
The HEC went on to explain that the recent announcement of the education ministry is "about resumption of a regular school week of 5 days for urban centres of Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, and Peshawar".
"Earlier, schools in these cities were restricted to a 3-day school week by NCOC in view of a high prevalence of COVID-19. NCOC has removed these restrictions following a fresh assessment of the prevailing situation in these cities," it continued.
It said that higher education institutes "will continue academic and research operations in accordance with the relevant instructions already provided by the HEC".
The governing body for universities went on to share two notices that had been issued earlier, with the first one containing guidelines as universities were shut down amid the second coronavirus and the second one detailing the strategy that was put in place earlier when a phase-wise reopening was decided.
It urged for the strict implementation of all government and HEC prescribed health and safety guidelines which "will remain effective until and unless modified".
"Universities are advised to seek further guidance, if required from the Chair or the provincial/regional members of the COVID-19 Oversight Committee or email at [email protected]," the HEC recommended.
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