Decision approved by NCOC: Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood
Schools across Pakistan will reopen from September 15, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Monday.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the federal and provincial education departments and has been approved by the National Command and Operation Centre.
The governments of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh submitted their suggestions during the meeting.
Addressing a press conference later, the federal education minister said that the educational institutions will be opened in different phases.
Universities, colleges and class IX and X will resume from September 15. The students from class VI to VIII will be called to schools from September 23 and the students enrolled below class VI will be called in from September 30.
Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani has said that schools in the province will reopen in phases between September 15 and 30 starting from universities and classes nine and 10.
From September 22, classes six to eight will resume sessions and last, primary classes will begin from September 30. Ghani said that if the number of coronavirus cases in any area spikes, the educational institutions in that area will be closed down.
Wearing masks, practicing social distancing and using sanitiser has been made compulsory for all students, teachers and staff members. Students with a flu or cough will not be allowed on campus.
Failure to comply with the SOPs will result in fines for the schools.
The Punjab government has made coronavirus tests compulsory for all teachers. The cost of the test will be incurred by the teachers. The tests are, however, not a compulsion for students.
Everyone entering the schools will have to wear a mask at all times and sanitise themselves frequently. According to the education department, half of the students of a class will be called one day and half the other day.
Punjab has advised classes above grade four to be called in first.
Earlier, the federal government had issued a SOPs that schools will have to follow. These include:
Educational institutions will remain open on Saturdays and will have no winter vacations this year. The institutions have been instructed to hold special classes on Saturdays.
All educational institutions across the country were closed late February after coronavirus cases spiked.
Coronavirus tests of students will be conducted after schools are opened. Teacher and staff members will, however, have to get themselves tested before schools are reopened.
The education department has requested the administration of the schools to cooperate with the government. It also said that the department will visit schools regularly and review the implementation of its SOPs.