With more than 6,000 active cases of COVID-19 remaining across the country, the federal and provincial governments will sit together on Monday to decide on the reopening of 300,000 educational institutions that have been closed for the past six months.
The country’s educational institutions will reopen in phases starting September 15, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced on Monday, nearly six months after students were sent home from the coronavirus epidemic.
All universities, institutes and colleges of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) will be reopened from September 15 as well as classes 9th to 12th, Mahmood said.
One week later, classes six, seven and eight will be allowed to return to schools on September 23 after review, while in the final phase, primary schools will be reopened on September 30, the minister announced.
He said that on September 30, if the situation “improves”, primary schools will be allowed to reopen. “In the next phase, decisions will be made about conducting the exams,” he said. The reopening of schools also applies to madrassas, government, private and professional institutions,” the minister said.
The Minister warned the management of the educational institutions that fail to comply with COVID-19 SOPs would result.
Speaking after Mahmood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that it was important for schools to reduce the density of students in classrooms and laboratories.
“For example, if there are 40 students in a class, we would like to divide it into two days or shifts. That way, 20 students can go to classes one day and 20 days the next,” he said which leads to decrease the spread of infection.
He added that face masks should be worn in schools and strict action should be taken in case of violation of SOPs related to corona-virus.