Pakistan decides to reopen educational institutions in phases from Jan.18 - GulfToday

Pakistan decides to reopen educational institutions in phases from Jan.18


An employee checks the temperature of a student outside a school in Karachi. File

Tariq Butt, Correspondent

The federal government on Monday announced reopening of educational institutions across Pakistan in phases, starting from Jan.18.

The announcement was made by Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood following the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference.

Mahmood said students of class 9 to 12 would resume studies from Jan.18, whereas the primary section up to class 8 would reopen from Jan.25. Colleges and universities are to reopen from Feb.1.

The minister said that board examinations would be held in May and June. He stated that the COVID-19 situation would again be reviewed by Jan.14 or 15.
Officials from the health ministry also briefed the forum on the latest situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal to hold board exams in the last week of May and early June and reducing the number of winter vacations was also discussed.
The minister said that teachers and administrative staff would be allowed to come back to schools from Jan.11 after the winter vacations were over. Online learning can also be resumed from Jan.11, he said.

Elaborating on the decisions taken during the meeting, Mahmood said that board exams which were due to be held in March and April were postponed to May and June because the children have not completed their coursework and we want to give them time to prepare.

He added that the government would review the health situation again on Jan.14 or 15 to see if the trajectory is under control.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan cautioned that more precautions were needed to control the spread of COVID-19. “When we looked at data and analysed it, it became clear that we need to take some more precautions and delay reopening so that the second wave can be reduced before we reopen.”

He said that data showed that closing the educational institutions earlier had led to a delay in the spread of the virus.

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