Educational institutions to reopen from Sept.15 in Pakistan, confirms minister - GulfToday

Educational institutions to reopen from Sept.15 in Pakistan, confirms minister


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Tariq Butt, Correspondent

Pakistan has decided to reopen educational institutions from Sept.15 with observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19.

Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood made the announcement in a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday.

He said the federal government will formulate SOPs and share them with the provincial governments. He said the provincial governments will be authorised to close the institutions, which do not observe SOPs.

The minister said the government will review the situation about the spread of coronavirus and implementation of the SOPs in August.

Shafqat said the educational institutions can open their administrative offices and call teachers before reopening of the institutions and practice the SOPs.

He said universities can permit their PhD students to do research at the laboratories with limited number. He said universities can also allow their students to reside at the hostels with maximum 30 per cent occupancy from August.

The minister said institutions can conduct examinations spanning maximum four days with SOPs from the second week of July. He said the government will monitor implementation of the SOPs.

On Wednesday, the federal and provincial governments have agreed on the reopening of schools, colleges and universities in the first week of September after five months closure.

The development comes as the federal and provincial ministers met in Islamabad on Wednesday via video link to discuss proposals on the reopening of educational institutions. Representatives of the Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir education departments also attended the meeting, which held with federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood in the chair.

The participants agreed that schools, colleges and universities should be allowed to resume operations across the country under strict enforcement of SOPs to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Sindh education minister Saeed Ghani said schools had suffered financial losses due to the coronavirus-induced closures. He suggested that private schools be given interest-free loans. The federal minister said he would discuss the matter with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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