ISLAMABAD: Educational institutions in Pakistan, which were closed down in November last year in a bid to stop the spread of the second coronavirus wave, have reopened for classes 9 to 12 and O and A Levels from today (Monday) as per standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood on late Sunday evening took to micro-blogging site Twitter and wished good luck to the students who are back to schools and colleges from today (Monday).
“Tomorrow classes 9 to 12, O and A level go back to school/ college. Wish them the very best,” the minister wrote.
“Their future is our main priority,” thus wished the minister.
The education minister of Punjab province, Murad Raas, in his tweet urged to make sure following of COVID-19 SOPs.
Back to school in phases
The country’s education ministers, in a meeting on Monday, decided to reopen educational institutions in the country in phases from January 18.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after the meeting, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that in the first phase, classes nine to 12 would be allowed to resume from Jan 18.
He said that in the next phase, classes one to eight would resume on Jan 25. All higher educational institutions would begin from Feb 1, he added.
Teachers and administrative staff would be allowed to return to schools from January 11, the education minister said.
Mahmood further said that board exams which were due to be held in March and April have been postponed till May and June as the students have not yet completed their courses and need time to prepare.
‘HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS’
• According to the SOPs, the students must maintain a social distance between educational institutions and vans.
• Masks will be mandatory for students, including teaching and non-teaching staff, in educational institutions.
• The doors and windows of classrooms in educational institutions will be opened for ventilation.
• Seating arrangements for students in the classrooms will be subject to social distance.
• Alternate day schedule to be followed under which 50 per cent of students would attend school one day while the remaining the next day.
• The cafeteria and canteen in educational institutions will make more use of disposable foodservice items.
‘Pakistan Coronavirus Cases’
Pakistan on Sunday reported 46 deaths and 1,920 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the last twenty-four hours thus recording the number of overall deaths due to COVID-19 to 10,676 and tally of infections 521,211.
According to the NCOC, there are still 2,348 critical cases of COVID-19 while 1,589 cases have been recovered from COVID-19 registering an overall 475,228 recoveries.