Officials to review health situation on Jan 14
Pakistan’s educational institutions will reopen starting January 18.
The PM’s aide on health Faisal Sultan and Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood addressed a press conference on Monday and said the biggest impact on Pakistan’s COVID-19 tally was closing schools.
When we analyses at the data and information it is evident that we should take more care, said Dr Sultan.
Mahmood said the government’s primary concern is always children’s health.
These are the decisions they made:
The board exams scheduled for March/April have been delayed till May/June, Mahmood said.
Officials will meet again on January 14 to review the health situation again and ensure that the virus’ trajectory is under control and as per the downward trend they are seeing now.
Separate meetings of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and interprovincial education ministers’ conference were held on Monday where the decision was made.
Private schools have been asking the government to reopen schools because they are suffering huge financial losses.
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had said that a decision could not be made without the approval of the health department. He met representatives of the private schools association and heard their reservations. He said a final decision would be announced after today’s (Monday’s) NCOC meeting.
The meeting was presided over by Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar.
All educational institutions across the country were closed late February after coronavirus cases spiked. They were reopened in phases starting September 15.
Universities, colleges, and classes IX and X resumed from September 15. The students from classes VI to VIII were called to schools from September 23 and the students enrolled below class VI started from September 30.
To compensate for the lost time, Pakistan’s educational institutions decided to remain open on Saturdays and not winter vacations this year, according to a notification issued by the federal education ministry.
On November 23, after the second wave of coronavirus hit the country, the government announced that all educational institutes in Pakistan will close again from November 26.
Classes were taken online till December 24 and winter vacations started from December 25 and will last till January 10. The government said it will hold a meeting to review the decision to reopen schools on January 4.
On the other hand, Ghani said he doesn’t think schools across Pakistan will reopen in January.
The minister said that under given circumstances, where the second wave of the novel coronavirus has gripped the country, it is highly unlikely that educational institutions will reopen.