All educational institutions in Pakistan will reopen from September 15, it was decided in an inter-provincial meeting headed by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by all provincial education ministers via video link. It examined the success of online education during the coronavirus lockdown in the country.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s request to reopen schools, colleges and universities in the province was rejected by Mahmood after which a consensus was reached on the opening date of September 15.
The meeting also discussed on keeping a single curriculum across provinces. In the next meeting, ministers have been instructed to present their suggestions on the matter.
On Tuesday, Lahore All Private Schools Association President Kashif Mirza had announced at a press conference that schools in Lahore would reopen from August 15 with implementation of coronavirus SOPs. He said that if the government prevents them from doing so, their unions will stand up and protest against them.
“Qualified teachers with masters and MPhil degrees have been forced to set up small food stalls,” he said, adding that this will not be tolerated by the association.
Members of the private school association of Sindh have made similar demands citing an increase in child labour since the school closure.
The owners asked the court to pass an order to reopen schools across the country. They said that they have suffered financially after the schools were closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the government is looking into the matter. The government is responsible for making policy and the court will not interfere in the matter, he said.
All educational institutions across the country were closed in late February after coronavirus cases had spiked. According to reports, the cases are on a downward trend now. Following this, the private schools owners have been demanding the schools be reopened immediately.