Pakistan to Decide on School Reopening in Sept 7 Meeting

Pakistan to Decide on School Reopening in Sept 7 Meeting

The federal government has summoned on September 7 a session with all provincial education ministers to take a final decision on the resumption of in-classroom academic sessions.

This was stated by Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on Monday.

He said the government will review the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the country and whether it is safe to reopen schools for regular classes.

The minister said that the government was aware of the academic loss suffered by the students, but ensuring their protection from the deadly virus was their top priority. He added that the district and education authorities have devised strict guidelines for reopening schools and universities in the country.

“It is of the utmost importance that we safely integrate all our students back into the learning environment,” he added.

To create a safe environment for students and staff of schools, he said that specific tasks and responsibilities will be created for teachers in all schools to ensure implementation of minimum health and hygiene standards.

He said the government has been clear that no decision will be taken without properly consulting stakeholders while the safety of students will remain a top priority in any decision.

Strict action will be taken against those schools who defy the government’s order for a 20 per cent discount in tuition fees, he mentioned.

Those educators who were furloughed or had lost their jobs will be restored after the reopening of schools, he said, adding that the decision to promote students without sitting examinations was taken given the pandemic.

Replying to a question, he said, “I have already suggested division of classes into two sections as a precautionary measure against Covid-19 to continue academic sessions.”

Classes, he said, should continue in batches to lower the chances of infection.