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Back to school: Pakistan students return to classrooms after months

Classes on alternate days, 50% student strength

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 1, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Feb 1, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

After vacations and remote learning for more than two months, students across Pakistan are going back to classrooms.

On Monday morning, hundreds of students, clad in uniforms, made their way towards their schools. Strict implementation of SOPs is being ensured at schools and temperatures of students are being checked at the entrance and social distancing is being practised.

Classrooms and halls at schools and colleges were sanitised before the students arrived. Hand sanitisers have been installed at multiple points inside the campuses as well.

In a meeting last month, the National Command and Operation Centre decided that classes for each grade will be held on alternate days three days a week and the student strength will be 50%.

Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has said that the government will closely monitor coronavirus cases and close schools located in virus hotspots.

Students of classes nine to 12, O and A-levels resumed on January 18. Mahmood said that this was because these students had to sit for their board exams.

No student will be promoted without exams this year, he added.

Last week, the government also released the academic calendar for the year which gave the following schedule:

  • May 18 to 31: centralised examinations for classes V to VIII
  • June 1 to 15: in-house examinations for classes I, II, III, IV, VI, and VII
  • June 30: results for centralised exams)
  • July 1: results for in-house exams
  • August 2: new academic year begins

Pakistan schools and coronavirus

All educational institutions across the country were closed late February after coronavirus cases began to rise. They were reopened in phases starting September 15.

Universities, colleges, and classes IX and X resumed from September 15.

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 have winter vacations.

On November 23, after the second wave of coronavirus cases hit the country, the government announced that all educational institutions would close again from November 26.

Classes were taken online till December 24 and winter vacations started from December 25 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.


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