Education

HEC directs universities in coronavirus hotspots to function online

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has ordered all universities to function online till 11th April following the increasing coronavirus cases. 

On Wednesday, HEC directed universities in coronavirus high-risk areas to function online till April 11, following the government’s announcement to extend educational institution’s closure in select cities. According to the released statement, “The HEC has clarified that all universities shall continue to operate as per guidelines issued earlier, except for educational institutions, which were earlier closed due to the high positivity rate,”  

It further directed that on-going and pre-scheduled exams can be conducted as planned with complete observance of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the HEC said. 

The HEC further advised universities to ensure strict observance of the COVID-19 minimum health and safety protocols, thermal scanning, the regular use of sanitizers, social distancing, wearing of facemasks, availability, and disinfection of buildings.  

Besides, universities are advised to seek further guidance, if required from the chair or the provincial/regional members of the Covid-19 oversight committee or email at mgbhatti@hec.gov.pk.  

Read More: Pakistan schools in coronavirus hotspot areas to stay closed till April 11

However, on Wednesday, after the NCOC meeting, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced to keep all educational institutions closed under the hotspots till April. He said children’s health is more important. According to the key decisions, taken in the meeting,  

  • Education institutes to remain closed in COVID-19 hotspots till April 11, which were earlier closed on March 15 for two weeks. 
  • Ninth, Matric and Intermediate exams will be held as per the schedule announced by the boards. 
  • Govt to hold a meeting with Cambridge International Examinations to check whether a change in exams schedule is possible or not. 
  • Provincial governments can decide about adding more cities/districts to list where all educational institutions will remain closed.  
  • Status quo will remain in Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan, where the situation is relatively better. However, authorities can act based on developments. 
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