Classes 9-12 to reopen from Jan 18 as planned: Shafqat Mahmood

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s federal and provincial education and health ministers on Friday decided to reopen schools across the country, announcing that classes 9 to 12 would recommence their academic activities from January 18 as planned previously, while classes 1-8 would resume them from February 1 instead of January 25.

A day earlier, the country had reported more than 3,000 cases in a period of twenty-four hours.

Reopening schedule

Classes 1-8: Feb 1
Classes 9-12: Jan 25
Universities: Feb 1

After a high-level meeting at the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), Federal Minister for Education, Shafqat Mahmood, said in a press conference that high school students would not be promoted this year without taking exams.

He also maintained that all decisions related to the opening and closing of education institutes were taken on the basis of statistical information available on the coronavirus pandemic while admitting that students had suffered great educational loss in the last few months.

The federal minister also informed there would be another review of infection rates in different cities and districts before reopening primary and middle schools along with higher institutes of learning. “The concerned authorities would again analyse the situation before allowing the education institutes to reopen,” he said.

Later, he tweeted: “After a detailed analysis of the situation by health and education ministers we have decided to start classes for 9,10,11,12 as per announced schedule of Jan 18. Priority is being given to them because of board exams that have been postponed to May, June.”

“All other educational institutions, that is class 1 to 8 and universities will reopen on Feb 1. In the meantime we will review the situation city wise next week.”

Earlier this month, the federal government announced a phase-wise plan to reopen educational institutes from January 18 which were closed in late November to curb the spread of new coronavirus infections Meanwhile, the Punjab government has assured the parents that it will ensure strict compliance of COVID-19 SOPs in schools.

Pakistan on Friday reported 2,417 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 45 deaths in the last twenty-four hours while there are 34,169 active cases in the country, according to the NCOC.

The number of recoveries during the past one day also crossed 2,000-mark i.e. 2,072 while the total recovered cases in the country stood at 469,306.

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