Attendance low due to countrywide strike
Physical classes for grades nine to 12 resumed at schools and colleges across Pakistan today (April 19).
Attendance at educational institutions on Monday was, however, low after clerics announced a countrywide strike.
In Punjab, schools reopened in over 13 districts, including Lahore and Multan. Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas tweeted on Sunday that 50% of students will be called in on Mondays and 50% on Thursdays.
Schools and colleges have been advised to ensure strict SOP implementation.
On Sunday, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood called an emergency meeting of all provincial ministers. It was decided that classes for students appearing for their intermediate and matric exams will reopen as students have to appear for their exams.
Classes from grades nursery to eight will, on the other hand, remain closed till Eid. Universities located in districts with high coronavirus cases have been instructed to move classes online.
According to Mahmood, the decision was taken to facilitate students sitting for their exams this year. All inter, matric, and O/A level exams will be held as per schedule, he pointed out.
Cambridge exams too will be taken as per the date sheet announced by the international board starting April 26.
All educational institutions across the country were closed in late February 2020 after coronavirus cases began to rise. They were reopened in phases starting September 15, 2020.
On November 23, 2020, after the second wave of coronavirus cases hit the country, the government announced that all educational institutions would close again from November 26, 2020.
Classes were taken online till December 24, 2020, and winter vacations started from December 25, 2020, and were supposed to last till January 10. The government said it would hold a meeting to review the decision to reopen schools on January 4.
The NCOC then decided that schools would reopen in phases with classes nine to 12 being the first to reopen on January 18.
On March 10, the government closed schools in Punjab, Islamabad, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for two weeks in light of the third wave of the coronavirus.