Govt announces reopening of schools from Jan 18

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The students will start going back to schools and colleges from January 18 in a phase-wise reopening of educations institutes, announced Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, on Monday.

The government has announced to reopen all educational institutions from January 11 with another one week of online classes and the Grade 9 to Grade 12 students will start attending the schools in person from January 18. 

This decision has been taken in an Inter-Provincial Ministers of Education Conference chaired by Shafqat Mahmood in Islamabad and attended by all provincial education ministers online. The students from Grade 1 to Grade 8 will start going back to school from January 25 and the University students from February 1.

Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood addressing a news conference in Islamabad said the meeting decided to reopen educational institutions in three phases. Shafqat Mehmood said these decisions were taken in consultation with all provincial education ministers. 

A review meeting will be held on January 15 while the education minister said all board examinations will now be held in May and June. Punjab Education Minister Dr Murad Raas addressing a media conference after the meeting said the meeting decided to reopen the educational institutions amid the implantation of coronavirus SOPs.

He warned the COVID-19 cases are being increased in the country and with face masks and social distancing, the nation can stem the virus from its further spread.  He said all the institutes will have 50percent students on alternate days as it has been implemented before.

It is pertinent to note that the federal government in November announced closure of all the educational institutes from November 26 till January 10 in the wake of the second wave of coronavirus. Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced the closure of all educational institutions including schools, colleges, universities and religious seminaries.

The decision was made during the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference held on November 23. Mahmood said educational activities would turn to the online education and online classes and educational work would continue till December 24. “All ministers have mutually decided that to keep all educational institutions, including schools, colleges, universities, and tuition centres closed.

However, online classes will continue from November 26 to December 24 after which winter break will start. Schools will reopen on January 11, 2021,” Minister Shafqat Mahmood said. The authorities have also announced that all exams in December have been delayed.

It has been reported that board exams of Intermediate and Matric will be conducted from May to June 2021 and the new academic year will start in August.

Meanwhile, the Private Schools Association has appreciated the decision of the committee.