ISLAMABAD: In a shocking press conference, Federal Minister for Education, Shafqat Mahmood announced that schools across Pakistan will be closed till at least January 10, 2021 as COVID-19 cases in the country continue to surge.
The Pakistan Daily has learnt the exact time line of the government’s plans.
- Nov 26 — All students to start studying from home
- Dec 24 — Last day of online classes
- Dec 25 to Jan 10, 2021 — Winter holidays
- Jan 11 — Schools to resume activities after reevaluation of the situation in the first week of January
- Professional exams including MDCAT 2020 to be held as per schedule
- Board exams to be pushed to June
Shafqat Mahmood clarified that all schools across Pakistan would close without exception.
“All ministers have mutually decided that to keep all educational institutions, including schools, colleges, universities, and tuition centres closed. However, online classes will continue from November 26 to December 24 after which winter break will start. Schools will reopen on January 11, 2021,” Shafqat Mahmood said highlighting the consensus in this decision.
The decision was reportedly made during the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) convened to discuss school closures.
Shafqat Mahmood held that the student’s health and safety was the top-most priority of the government, adding that examinations scheduled to take place in December would be postponed.
Punjab’s Education Minister Murad Raas said that schoolchildren in Punjab will be promoted to the next classes based on their homework.
He also added that Punjab Board exams, which are held in March, will now be conducted in May and June 2021.
The minister also said that while schools will remain closed, teachers will have to go to schools twice a week, i.e. on Mondays and Thursdays to ensure that the quality of homework is up to the mark.