All primary and secondary schools across Sindh resumed classes from Monday (September 28).
Schools in the country reopened in phases starting September 15 with universities, colleges and classes IX and X resuming first. On September 23 (Wednesday), secondary classes everywhere in Pakistan except Sindh resumed.
The delay in Sindh was due to the increased number of coronavirus cases being reported from educational institutions. Earlier in the week, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani announced that all classes in the province will be reopened, however, the implementation of SOPs will be strictly monitored.
The precautionary measures include wearing masks at all times, maintaining social distancing and proper sanitisation. Multiple schools have been using disinfection sprays to sanitise classrooms.
Teachers, students and staff members are also being checked for fevers with a thermal gun at the entrance of the schools.
In a media briefing earlier this week, Ghani had said that all schools not following SOPs will be fined and their licenses might be suspended. The minister said that the education department’s officers will be making surprise visits to schools.
He advised parents to stop letting students travel in vans and buses, and instead suggested that parents pick and drop children themselves.
Some schools in the province will reopen from October 1. Ghani had also given parents the option for their children to continue taking classes online if they were uncomfortable sending them to school.
On September 4, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood and Dr Faisal Sultan, the PM’s assistant on health, had issued a list of precautionary measures that all schools would have to follow when they reopen.
The instructions are listed below:
Mahmood had stressed the importance of the role of principals and teachers in the implementation of SOPs. “The student will be the responsibility of the school,” he said.
On the other hand, schools in flood-hit areas of the province such as Badin, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Sujawal and Umerkot failed to resume activities as school buildings remained inundated with water.
According to reports, most educational institutions in the areas were turned into relief camps. Other suffered damages during the havoc the monsoon rains wreaked in the province.
Some students were seen wading through knee-deep rainwater to reach their schools.
With additional reporting by Hanif Samoon.