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January 16, 2021

LHC seeks report on reopening of schools amid Covid-19

National

January 16, 2021

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday sought reports from the federal and provincial governments about the enforcement of Covid-19 SOPs before the reopening of schools.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi was hearing a public interest petition, seeking a declaration that the reopening of academic institutions scheduled from Jan 18, would be an act detrimental to the lives of students and their families since it was announced without observing safety and health measures. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the schools should remain closed till the provision of safety atmosphere, vaccine, transportation, health, food facilities and financial assistance to the students and their family.

The petitioners have asked the court to fix the responsibility of those at the helm of affairs in case of Covid-19 pandemic spread. The counsel said the authorities have asked to arrange online classes in order to ensure safety of lives of students. The lawyers of the federal and provincial governments, present in the court, said in terms of reopening of schools, the teachers and staff were required to begin preparation for academic work as well as implementation of coronavirus SOPs.

They said detailed SOPs had been developed, which would be conveyed to the management of schools for their implementation. However, they told the court that the National Command Operation Center (NCOC) had yet to take a final decision for re-opening of schools across the country, which shall be presented to the court. The law officers sought time to submit reports and parawise comments so that the court could be abreast of the development in this respect. Justice Najafi allowed time to the governments for submission of reports and adjourned the hearing till Jan 19.