Educational Institutes from all over Pakistan will re-open from September 15, after the massive outbreak of Coronavirus, all educational institutes were shut down to avoid the major spread of the virus. Shafqat Mehmood, federal minister of education announced that the re-opening will be done phase-wise with proper precautionary measures.
- Class 9 and above, including universities will re-open on Sept 15
- Class 6 to 8 will re-open a week later, Sept 23
- All Primary Classes will join the educational activities on Sept 30.
- The Class Strength will be halved as a precaution.
Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) chaired by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, announced that the higher education will be the first phase of re-opening. Universities along with Colleges and Classes 9-12 will re-open to resume educational activities from September 15.
Followed by the Class 6 till 8, a week later on Sept 23 and furthermore the primary classes to resume the educational activities on Sept 30. The idea of phase-opening is that if the things remained okay, all institutions will be re-opened within 15 days. The decision is also implied to the madrassahs says Shafqat Mehmood. Students have waited for the past couple of months with patience, in these difficult times it was a huge decision, says Shafqat Mehmood. The NCOC (National Command and Operation Centre) carried out necessary nationwide research to back the decision with authentic trends worldwide.
Precautionary Measures Announced
Precautionary measures will be compulsory for every institute and student. The number of students in a class or a lab shall be reduced to half. Explaining the double shift or the alternate day method, half students to attend the school one day while the other half the next day. The spread can be reduced with proper precautions and it is easier to control a small number of students, so the strength of students in a class should be less than usual. With the strength cut in half, the distance in students can be assured to maintain social distancing.
Face Masks for students are mandatory, however, the surgical masks are not the only option, masks made from cloth can be used as well. Parents must advice their children to follow the SOPs and help the administration of schools for their own health and safety. Furthermore, Dr. Sultan advised the students to not attend schools or colleges if they seem to be sick, have a cough or fever. The educational institutes will check for appropriate symptoms and keep close check-up on SOPs to avoid any mishap.
Dr. Sultan, further asked students to keep hygiene as an important part, washing hands must be their first choice. SAPM said, “Despite doing all this, we will not lower our guard. We have a strategy and we will do sentinel screening at a select few schools and colleges every two weeks so that we have an idea of the spread of the virus,”
Number of cases from all provinces will be checked properly, so if any mishap or immense rise or fall in cases are observed the decision can be revoked. Reopening of schools is one of the biggest steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions says Dr Sultan.
Educational Ministers of their respective provinces announced that the educational institutes in the province shall reopen in phases from mid-September. Students from grade 9 or higher will be the first ones to return on September 15. The provincial educational ministers along with the federal education minister sat together to decide the re-opening of 300,000 institutes. However, SOPs are made compulsory for the students and teachers, a school found guilty of not following SOPs will be fined by the government. All precautionary measures will be taken by the parents and the institutes to avoid further spread of the virus.
Murad Raas the educational minister of Punjab was formidable that no double shifts will be allowed, all schools shall follow the alternate day schedule. The re-opening of schools and institutes in Punjab were similar to decisions of Federal Minister.
Similarly, Saeed Ghani also emphasized on phase-wise opening of institutes and followed the similar pattern as the federal government announced. Masks would be mandatory in all schools, while implementation of SOPs will be compulsory.
Balochistan and Kyber Pakhtunkhawa both remarked that the educational institutes re-opening will be followed by the same schedule the federal government proposed. KP Government also announced last week that random COVID-19 Testing shall be conducted in the institutions.