A meeting was held between Education and Health ministers today, in which they decided to reopen educational institutions from Monday. Primary classes will start from 1st February.
Educational institutions were closed since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. Later in September 2020 on government orders, educational institutions restarted for a very short period of time. Today, in a meeting with the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), chaired by Minister of Planning Asad Umar, and joined by the health minister and the education minister; it was decided to reopen educational institutions in different phases.
The Meeting’s Decisions
Considering the ongoing second wave of Covid-19, a delay in reopening educational institutions was recommended by health authorities. This wave is stronger than the first one, and so far the curve does not appear to be flattening.
The Federal Government has decided in a meeting today, to reopen educational institutions from 9th grade onwards, up to 12th by 18th January. Primary classes and Secondary classes will be scheduled for 1st February. University level institutions will also open in February.
Another meeting has been scheduled for next week where COVID test rates will be studied for each city so that the decision can be tailored on that basis.
“Everyone is concerned about the loss of education during the previous lockdown but we have to strike a balance so as to ensure the safety of students,” Mehmood said.
Mehmood in a tweet on Thursday said: “While I desperately want education to continue, the final decision will be on health grounds. Students’ well-being will always be a priority.”
On the other hand, the Punjab Government has assured the parents that SOPs for Covid-19 will be strictly followed by the government and educational institutions.