Minister meets private school reps, says new term begins August
Exams scheduled for March are being delayed till May/June, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced on Friday.
He announced a number of other steps that will be taken but said the final decision will be announced by the National Command and Control Centre.
We cannot open educational institutions against the advice of the ministry of health, he said.
Mahmood held a meeting with private school association representatives on reopening schools on Friday. The association is pro opening schools and has called on the government to reopen schools as soon as possible.
Mahmood, Parliamentary Secretary Wajeeha Ikram, the chairperson of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority and private schools representatives Afzal Babar, Hafiz Basharrat, Abrar Khan and Nasir Mehmood attended the meeting.
Speaking to the media ahead of the meeting, the private schools delegation said the government must understand their problems and take steps towards a solution.
Mahmood later said March’s exams will be delayed and this year’s summer vacations will be shorter.
Instead of March, the exams will be held in May/June instead. The school year will also begin in August.
Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani had said when schools closed in November that under no circumstance will students in the province be promoted without examinations. “Examinations for classes nine and 10 will be taken in May and June.”
Private schools are going to be given a package to cope with the financial burden of closing schools, announced the federal minister, adding that the government is aware of their issues.
Any major decisions will only be made after a discussion, he vowed, adding that the health ministry’s approval is needed before any decision to reopen schools.
We have to consider the health of students, teachers and staff, he said. More clarity on the situation will come after the January 4 NCOC meeting, he added.
The NCOC has said that 2,463 new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the past 24 hours.
Pakistan shut down schools in November after a rise in coronavirus cases was reported.
Winter vacations were supposed to be held from December 25 and till January 10. The government is now reviewing whether schools will reopen on January 10 and whether classes will be in person.
Many schools are against the online class model as they say several students do not have access to stable internet connections and computers.