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Teachers’ body opposes reopening of schools

Lahore

May 23, 2020

LAHORE:The Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) has demanded the government refrain from reopening primary and middle schools across Punjab as implementation of corona SOPs for students up to eighth grade is not only difficult but also impossible.

In a press release, PTU Central President Chaudhry Sarfraz and other leaders, including Syed Sajjad Akbar Kazmi, Rana Liaqat, Saeed Namdar, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, Mian Arshad, Malik Sajjad, Mustafa Sindhu, Rana Ilyas, Rana Khalid, Mirza Tariq, Ghaffar Awan, Tahir Islam and Hafiz Nazir Gujjar, observed that there was such a large number of children that there would be no as much space in classrooms for children to at a certain distance according the SOPs. They said that amid scorching heat children would also face problems such as power outages and the supply of cold drinking water.

Moreover, implementation of corona SOPs in schools is not possible in the current situation when the number of patients due to coronavirus is increasing day-by-day and the people are also seen in markets, shopping malls, public transport and on the streets, the PTU office-bearers said.

They said there are not enough funds available in government schools to provide masks and sanitizer to students on a daily basis. If educational institutions are reopened, a large number of students could be infected with the coronavirus. Extreme hot weather may also affect them.

The PTU demanded the Punjab School Education minister and secretary to formulate a strategy for reopening educational institutions in phases. In the first phase, a limited number of students (section-wise) from IX to XII could be asked to attend schools in different hours from 6:30am till 9:30pm, the PTU suggested.

PTU also suggested that policy of reopening schools should be formulated at the district level instead of provincial level so that respective district education authorities could decide the school hours keeping in view their local conditions.