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September 16, 2020

Govt finds everything ‘hunky-dory’ on challenging first day of school

Karachi

September 16, 2020

More than six months after they were closed to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus among students, educational institutes reopened on Tuesday, but what was observed as a largely challenging day was termed satisfactory by the government.

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that during his visit to many schools, he found the arrangements made by their respective administrators to be satisfactory. The inspection teams of the Directorate of Inspection & Registration of Private Institutions Sindh also visited a number of private schools and found none of the institutions to be in violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The flip side

The students of schools and colleges, especially those studying at public institutions, faced many challenges on the first day, causing some of the schools to close again a few hours after they had been opened. Majority of the schools also reported low attendance of pupils.

During a visit to many schools, colleges and universities, it was observed that rainwater was accumulated in those institutions, they had made no adequate arrangements for cleanliness and they were also missing many of the essential facilities like water and electricity.

Moreover, attendance of the pupils was not as expected, so some of the schools had to be closed again a few hours after they were opened, and at the schools that remained open, teachers and administrators spent the day telling the students about the importance of complying with the SOPs.

As for the situation at the universities, it was observed that students, faculty members and other employees were blatantly violating the SOPs. A protest by the students of the University of Karachi’s Department of Computer Science demanded that classes be held before their final examination.

A notification issued by the KU administration clearly stated that it had been observed that the university’s employees and students had been violating the SOPs. The notice urged all the employees and students to comply with them.

Likewise, at several other universities, including the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences & Technology and the Sindh Madressatul Islam University, teacher unions and non-teaching staff members held meetings over the issue.