close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
October 30, 2020

Ghani warns of indefinite closure of schools due to Covid-19’s second wave

Karachi

October 30, 2020

Sindh’s education minister has warned that even though schools are open right now, nobody knows when and for how long they may be closed again across the country in view of the Covid-19 emergency.

Saeed Ghani, who also holds the labour portfolio, announced this on Thursday at the historical NJV Government Higher Secondary School, where he distributed free tablet computers among 135 boarding students hailing from other cities and towns of the province.

Named after Narayan Jagannath Vaidya, the first deputy inspector of Sindh when the province was part of the Bombay Presidency, the institute was founded in 1855 as the first public school of Sindh. Akhuwat, an NGO, has been running it for the past four years.

Ghani said on the occasion that like elsewhere in the world, educational institutions in Pakistan have also remained closed for over six months because of the coronavirus threat, causing much setback to the cause of education.

He said the Sindh government and the NGOs managing public schools across the province have been making efforts to introduce a system of online education in the event that orders are issued to close educational institutions for a second time.

“It’s a fact that we’re unable to offer the facility of online education to 100 per cent of the students in the province due to the unavailability of internet and other problems, but if this opportunity can be provided to 60 to 70 per cent of the students, it will still be a good step.”

The minister said that the process of registering students of public schools for online education is under way in collaboration with the Microsoft Corporation, a US-based multinational technology company that was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

Ghani claimed that compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) devised by the government to control local transmission of Covid-19 has been much better in Sindh’s schools as opposed to the other sectors.

He said that warnings have been issued to schools found to be violating the SOPs and every educational institution where a staff member or a student has tested positive for the virus has been sealed by the government.

He appreciated the services of Akhuwat for managing the historical school. He urged the teachers and officials of the education department to follow suit and manage other public schools in the province in the same superior manner.

He said that the officials and teachers associated with the education department should realise that over 40,000 public schools across the province cannot be managed by handing them over to NGOs.

Schools closed

The Sindh School Education & Literacy Department had on Wednesday announced the closure of six public schools situated in the Malir district due to the spread of Covid-19.

The schools ordered to close were identified as Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Konkar; Government Boys Secondary School, Model Haqqani Campus; Government Girls Secondary School, Haji Saeen Rakhio Campus; Government Girls Lower Secondary School, Konkar; Government Boys Secondary School, Jan Muhammad Ahmedani and Government Boys Secondary School, Radho Jokhio.

The notification issued by the Malir district education officer stated that the principals of these schools had been found to be infected with the novel coronavirus, as their samples taken for Covid-19 tests had returned positive.

According to the announcement, they had been directed to take necessary measures in accordance with the guidelines for educational institutions that were issued in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations & Coordination, as the schools would remain closed for the time being.

“The classrooms, staff rooms and other facilities used by the infected persons are to be closed for a minimum of five days, with suggested procedures of disinfection to be carried out on the premises,” read the notification.

The announcement also stated that all the students and staff members who were part of the affected classes and had come into contact with the identified infected persons should isolate themselves at home for five days.

The affected schools ordered to close are likely to be reopened on November 1, but only after their respective administrations ensure compliance with all the SOPs relevant to the safe resumption of academic activities.

KMC plans campaign

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will start a campaign to spread of awareness about Covid-19 in the city.

For this purpose, a resolution was approved and it was decided that different departments of the KMC, including media management, culture and sports, medical and health, would jointly run the campaign.

According to a press statement issued by the corporation, the campaign is going on under the Sindh Local Government Act, according to which the people would be made aware the need to keep social distancing and wearing masks at public places.

KMC Administrator Iftikhar Ali Shallwani asked the citizens to adopt all preventive measures and follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) as Covid-19 had not been eradicated yet. He said a surge in the number of coronavirus patients had been reported in the last few days.

He said that according to experts, the second wave of the novel coronavirus might be more dangerous. Shallwani said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared a pandemic which had affected more than 200 countries. He remarked that the coronavirus had not done damage to Pakistan due to timely measures, but the disease had not been eradicated yet.

He vowed that the KMC would fulfil its responsibilities and run the campaign in an effective manner. He announced that said they would hold awareness campaigns at public places to ensure that a large number of citizens could be covered.

In another statement, Shallwani said Morocco’s city Casablanca and Karachi would be given status of sister cities so that both the cities could come closer.

He talking to the honorary consul general of Morocco at the KMC building. Matters of mutual interests were discussed during the meeting, and the honorary consul general invited Shallwani to visit Morocco.

Mirza Ishtiaq Baig said Pakistan and Morocco also had trade relations and imported Pakistan’s sports items and surgical accessories. “The people of Morocco consider Pakistanis as their true friends and brothers.” He said Morocco is a historical country and known for its beauty. Also, he added, it is amongst top 10 loved places for the tourists. The administrator thanked Baig for inviting him to visit Morocco and said both the countries had good relations.