ISLAMABAD: Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced a revised schedule of reopening schools across the country after the meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday.
Shafqat Mahmood addressed press conference after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting which was attended by health and education ministers to review the current COVID-19 situation and finalize the reopening of educational institutes.
During the press conference, the federal education minister announced that schools reopening will commence as planned for classes 9 through 12 starting 18th January 2021.
After a detailed analysis of the situation by health and education ministers we have decided to start classes for 9,10,11,12 as per announced schedule of Jan 18. Priority is being given to them because of board exams that have been postponed to May, June 1/2— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) January 15, 2021
However, students of grade 1 through 8 will return to schools from 1st February instead of the earlier decided date of 25th January, according to Shafqat Mahmood.
There is no change is the date of reopening for universities and students will return to classes on 1 February 2021 as planned earlier with strict implementation of coronavirus SOPs.
2/2 All other educational institutions, that is class 1 to 8 and universities will reopen on Feb 1. In the meantime we will review the situation city wise next week.— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) January 15, 2021
It was further decided by the federal and provincial governments that no students will be promoted this year without sitting in examinations like they were last year.
The federal minister said that next week, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) will re-evaluate the COVID-19 situation in different cities and districts and decide whether education institutes in areas of high infection rate should reopen or remain closed.
Furthermore, it may also be decided that students living in areas where a lockdown is imposed will attend school once a week to collect their homework.
According to the federal education minister Shafqat Mahmood, it was noted in an earlier meeting that schools had a direct impact of the infection rate since a large chunk of the population are school going children.
Reopening of schools in Punjab
Schools in Punjab will be reopening following the same schedule with students of classes 9 through 12 returning from 18th January 2021 while primary, middle schools and universities will be opening from 1st February.
“The situation is being monitored daily for the safety of our students and teachers and their families.” said Punjab Education Minister in a tweet after the NCOC meeting.
ANNOUNCEMENT:— Murad Raas (@DrMuradPTI) January 15, 2021
Schedule for all schools of Punjab: 9,10,11,12 classes to open on January 18th, 2021. Primary, Middle and Universities will be opening on February 1st, 2021. The situation is being monitored daily for the safety of our students and teachers and their families.
Closure of educational institutes
The Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced the closure schools across the country from 26th November 2020 till 10th January 2021 after a surge in cases of the coronavirus during the second wave of infections.
The meeting of education ministers and health officials tomorrow (15th January 2021) will finalize the schools reopening in Pakistan based on the coronavirus situation. The federal education minister has emphasized that final decision will be taken keeping in view the health of students and teachers, which is the utmost priority.