Pakistan federal and provincial governments have taken today the final decision of reopening of about 300,000 educational institutions across the country starting September 15 which remained shut for the last six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Monday 7th September, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood chaired a meeting with provincial education ministers of Pakistan to take the final decision of opening educational institutions across the country and took the decision that educational institutions will reopen on 15th September on the rule that SOPs shall be mandatory to follow.
The Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) chairperson and executive director, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan, and officials of the health department were also present at the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC), which aimed to compile the final recommendations regarding the reopening of educational institutions across Pakistan.
SAPM Health Dr. Faisal Sultan said that all educational institutions will be opened in a phase-wise manner, “The objective is that the number of students [present] on one day can be reduced so that the spread can be reduced,” he stressed.
He said the strength of students needs to be decreased in rooms to avoid the spread of the virus. He said that schools will divide the total strength of the single class into shifts and so only 20 students will be allowed to gather in on a place at a time.
Before the decision was made, the Ministry of Federal Education/ProfessionalTraining posted on twitter, “Happening Now: Federal Minister Shafqat_Mahmood presides Interprovincial Education Ministerial to discuss #ReopeningOfSchools, Dr. Faisal Sultan, SAPM on health is present in the meeting Provincial ministers for education & HEC are attending the meeting”
After about an hour Punjab education minister Murad Raas took on twitter,
“ANNOUNCEMENT: All Public & Private Schools of Punjab to open on following schedule. Classes 9-12 to start on 15th. Classes 6-8 to start Sept 22nd. Classes Nursury-5 to start on 30th. No Double Shift. Alternative Day Schedule to be followed by all Public & Private Schools.”
On the other hand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial education department has decided to conduct corona tests on school staff and students. According to the notification shared on the Twitter account of the ruling PTI’s KP chapter stated:
“Health Department’s teams will be visiting public and private educational institutions to conduct random tests of teachers / staff / students / canteen vendors and all those persons who are working within the premises of educational institutions in an effort to detect COVID-19 positive cases and prevent the spread of disease.”
Wheres, Sindh and Balochistan education departments agreed upon the decision made by the government and said that they “will follow the decision taken by the federal government in this regard.”