Pakistan considers reopening educational institutes in phases - GulfToday

Pakistan considers reopening educational institutes in phases


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Gulf Today Report

The Pakistan government is mulling the reopening of educational institutions across the country in a phased manner from Jan.25, a media report said.

The Express Tribune report published on Saturday however, said that a final decision was yet to be taken on the matter.

Meanwhile, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced that exams scheduled for March are being delayed till May and June. The minister held a meeting with private school association representatives on reopening schools.

Mahmood said they cannot open educational institutions against the advice of the ministry of health. He said the reopening of schools will be decided by the National Command and Control Centre.

“Hope infection rates go down so that we can open all educational institutions,” the minister said. He further said exams scheduled for March are being delayed till May and June, while summer vacations will be shortened this year.

The report further said that the federal education ministry has called for an inter-provincial conference on Monday to deliberate on the issue, as well as finalising the schedule of examinations for the 2020-21 academic year.

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country, it has been suggested that primary schools in both public and private sector should be reopened from Jan.25 in the first phase, while middle and secondary schools should be restart from Feb.4 in the second phase, said The Express Tribune report.

"If the situation continues to deteriorate, the proposals may be deferred and another inter-provincial ministerial conference on education may be held on Jan.19," a ministry official told the newspaper.

"Any decision will be made keeping in view the trend and the number of patients in hospitals and the current pressure on the health system of the country," the official added.

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan in March 2020, all educational institutions remained closed until Sept.15. But due to a resurgence, the educational institutions across the country were closed again on Nov.26, 2020, after remaining open for about two-and-a-half-months.

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