The provincial govt takes third U-turn
The Singh government took another U-turn on its decision to reopen schools and universities in the province on Saturday evening. A new notification says public and private education institutions were to stay closed “till further orders”
On Friday the provincial government had announced all public and private varsities across Sindh would stay closed for a week. Its notification said the universities would reopen on August 30. Before that, the government announced that it would allow to reopon educational institutes by August 23.
Saturday’s notification is the third such announcement within a week. It’s being dubbed as “the third U-turn,” according to Samaa TV.
“In pursuance of [the] decision of the Sindh Corona Task Force meeting and with the approval of competent authority, all public and private educational institutions under [the] administrative control of School Education and Literacy Department Government of Sindh shall remain closed till further orders,” the notification issued on Saturday reads.
The government sources say a decision to reopen schools and universities will be made on August 30.
Ealier, Sindh Minister for Universities and Boards Ismail Rahoo said students, teachers, and staff members have been instructed to get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus.
“From August 30, unvaccinated people won’t be allowed to enter the premises,” he said.
Meanwhile, all BA, BSc, and MA exams in the province are being conducted as per schedule. Varsities have been instructed to ensure coronavirus SOP implementation during exams.
Education Institutions in Sindh were to reopen from August 23. The date was extended by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah over rising coronavirus concerns. The positivity ratio in Karachi has climbed to 14%.
Earlier this week, the health ministry had advised schools, colleges, universities to call students on alternate days. It recommended that primary schools should be closed for an additional 10 days.
Educational institutions were expected to reopen on August 2 but the date has been postponed because of the lockdown imposed by the Sindh government.
On August 8, the Sindh government decided to keep schools closed till Muharram 10. Intermediate and matriculation exams, on the other hand, resumed on August 10.
Schools in other provinces reopened on August 2 with 50% attendance.
Private School Federation is yet to respond to the third notification issued.
Earlier, its Chairperson Kashif Mirza rejected the government’s decision to close schools until August 30.
He remarked, “how will you curb the virus spread when everything else is open? I want to appeal to the prime minister and chief minister to call students back to school with SOPs.”
The chairperson assured that most of the teaching and non-teaching staff members at schools have been vaccinated against the virus.
Haider Ali, the chairperson of All Sindh Private Schools and Colleges Association, gave weight to Mirza’s stance. “The government should reopen schools with SOPs and mandatory vaccination.”
More than 600,000 students at public schools and 800,000 students at private schools have dropped out of educational institutions in the last two years. “All the associations will sit together and announce our collective response on this decision,” he added.