All classes, both primary and secondary, will resume at schools across Sindh from September 28, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said on Friday.
Schools in the country reopened in phases on September 15 with universities, colleges and classes IX and X resuming first. On September 23 (Wednesday), secondary classes everywhere in Pakistan except Sindh resumed.
Addressing the media, the minister said that there are still a lot of problems in multiple schools but the government is ensuring that all coronavirus SOPs are strictly followed by educational institutions.
“We have left a lot of decisions to the schools and parents while forming the SOPs,” Ghani said, requesting the school managements and parents to instill in children the importance of following the precautionary measures.
He advised parents to stop letting students travel in vans and buses, and instead suggested that parents pick and drop children themselves.
Ghani stressed the importance of social distancing and said that schools not following the instructions will be fined or even sealed. “I will be making surprise visits to both public and private schools to to oversee the situation.”
He added that parents will still have the option of sending the children to school. “If they feel unsafe, then they can continue with the online classes. Nothing comes before the health of our children.”
After schools reopened, the number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan spiked. A number of public and private schools reported the virus among students and staff members.
In a tweet on Thursday, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that a “significant build-up” has been made in virus testing at educational institutions in order to identify early trends.
As of September 25, Pakistan has reported 798 new coronavirus cases. Seven more people lost their lives to the virus. The highest number of cases were reported in Sindh and Punjab.