Friday December 03, 2021

Schools, colleges to reopen across Pakistan in phases from Sept 15

By Agencies
September 08, 2020

ISLAMABAD: After almost six-month hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions, educational institutions are going to reopen their doors for students in phases from September 15 amid significant fall in coronavirus cases, announced Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, here on Monday.

Spelling out details at a televised media briefing, the minister said in the first phase, students of universities, intermediate (11th and 12th) and secondary (9th and 10th) classes would be allowed to resume their studies from September 15 (Tuesday).

Briefing the media along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan after chairing Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference, he further said the educational institutions would operate under strict Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).

In the second phase, he said, the students of sixth, seventh and eighth classes would be allowed to attend their schools from September 23, while primary classes (one to five) would restart on September 30. “It was really a difficult and tough decision to reopen the educational institutions,” he said, adding constant monitoring of the first phase would be carried out before going for the second and third phases.

The minister said the decision was taken after thoroughly analysing regional and global trends of the outbreak, holding extensive consultations by the ministries of Education and Professional Training, and National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination with the federating units, coupled with research by the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC).

Mahmood clarified the decision would be applicable on all the educational institutions of both public and private sectors, besides vocational centres and religious seminaries, which would enable millions of students to resume studies after a hiatus of around six months.

He said the government had to take difficult decisions during the lockdown period, which included the promotion of around four million students of the higher secondary education to their next classes. Expressing gratitude to parents for showing perseverance during the difficult times, he urged teachers and school administrations to fully cooperate with the government and ensure compliance of SOPs at their institutions. He warned school administrations of strict actions in case of non-compliance.