Middle schools to reopen from Wednesday, says NCOC
It means the students of Class VI to VIII will now resume their studies after months-long break from tomorrow (Wednesday) in the second of phase of reopening the educational institutions in the country.
Earlier on September 15, hundreds of thousands of universities, colleges, schools and madrasas reopened throughout Pakistan, ending an over six-month-long closure due to coronavirus pandemic.
The authorities have planned to resume educational activities in phases 187 days after suspending them. Thus, universities, colleges, schools (Class IX and X only) and madrasas were part of the first phase.
Meanwhile, the Class VI to VIII students were supposed to join schools from September 23 while those of nursery and primary schools are expected to resume their studies September 30.
The meeting held on Tuesday was chaired by Federal Minister Asad Umar as the participants reviewed the coronavirus situation and safety measures before giving the final approval.
However, it is not clear as yet whether the Sindh government would follow the decision as it had postponed the decision to reopen the middles schools from September 23 as announced earlier after the recent spike in coronavirus cases.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Education Minister Saeed Ghani last week said the decision had taken as the parents were worried about the increase in the infection rate. The government wanted to protect the children, he added.
However, Ghani added that the second of phase reopening of educational institutions might be implemented from the 30th of the current month in case the situation improved.
It means the reopening of primary schools – covering classes from nursery to Grade V – in Sindh could also be delayed as these were supposed to open on September 28.
Soon after the decision, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood criticised the decision, saying the provincial government should have consulted others before reaching the conclusion.
On the other hand, Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas on Tuesday said a school would be shut down even if a single coronavirus case was reported in the institution. The primary schools, he added, would reopen from September 30 as planned.