ISLAMABAD: Educational Institutions including schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan will re-open on 15 September 2020 after nearly 5 months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic according to the Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood.
However, the final decision will be taken after a review of the coronavirus situation in the country in August and if the situation is not favorable then all schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan shall not open as lives of students and teachers will not be put in danger, says the Federal Education Minister.
Before opening educational institutions, very strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be put in place to be followed by these institutions to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. This may include scheduling classes for different grades on alternate days and even holding classes in open air.
However, once the final decision is made a made will be given when schools, colleges and universities will be allowed to call staff before students in order to resume administrative operations.
Educational institutions will be required to clean premises and disinfect everything including training staff about the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) set in place for re-opening schools.
Furthermore, the government is allowing rescheduling of exmaninations that were delayed back in march which will be carried out under strict SOPs as well.
Talking about PhD students, the Federal Education Minister said that universities may allow these students access to laboratories to continue their research under SOPs laid down by the insititutions.
Speaking about the issues being faced by students regarding online classes, Shafqat Mahmood said that studtns will be allowed back to hostels after Eid-ul-Azha but capacity should not exceed 30 percent. This way, those students having trouble with online classes can use the facilities at these hostels while students who can manage from home should continue to do so.
The meeting of the education ministers also discussed professional examinations like medical, engineering entry tests and exams and proposed that they may be held with special arrangements such as keeping six feet distance and wearing of masks and gloves.
Although the Education Ministry plans on opening all educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan on 15 September, the final decision lies with the National Coordination Committee which will approve the proposal by the Education Ministry.