Pakistan closed schools in Islamabad, Lahore for two weeks
The All Pakistan Private Schools and Colleges Association has rejected the National Command and Operation Centre’s decision to close schools in Punjab, Islamabad, and Peshawar.
“Educational institutions should immediately reopen with strict implementation of SOPs,” chairperson Malik Abrar said. “Airports, shopping malls and markets are all open and even the Senate elections are underway,” he pointed out. “Is it only schools where coronavirus spreads?”
Abrar rejected the government’s decision and said that the centre should take back its decision immediately. “If our demands are not met, we will join the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s long march,” he threatened.
All Pakistan Private Schools Federation President Kashif Mirza made similar demands.
“Millions of students across the country haven’t returned to schools at all, at least 700,000 teachers are still unemployed and over 10,000 schools have shut down,” he said.
On Wednesday, the NCOC announced a two-week break for educational institutions in Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Sialkot after a rise in coronavirus cases.
Schools, colleges, and universities in the cities will close on Monday and reopen on March 28.
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.