COVID-19 spike: Educational Institutions to remain shut till April 11

F.P Report

ISLAMABAD: As the corona virus cases pike in capital the federal government decides to keep educational institutions closed till April 11th, this decision was announced by Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday.

The decision came in after a comprehensive meeting of Inter-Provincial Education and Health Ministers here at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to review the augment in current wave of the epidemic, Federal Minister for Education said in a press conference.

He also hinted that more educational institutions could be closed in high-risk areas and selected districts as per discretion of the provinces.

After analyzing the conditions of corona-virus spread, Federal government has taken the decision to close educational institutions including  schools, colleges, universities, madrassas, academies in the nine districts of Punjab, Shafqat Mahmood commented.

These districts include Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sargodha, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan, Sheikhupura and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) would be closed till April 11l, specified.

He further commented that the COVID-19 spike had observed in urban centers especially Punjab’s Lahore district, few areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Shafqat Mahmood also mentioned that the occurrence of disease in the Balochistan, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces had moderately low as compared to the ICT, Punjab, and KP, all those matters were being considered in detail during the NCOC meeting.

Highlighting the consequences of the decision, he stated that “We are cognizant of the fact that the closure of educational institutions time and again were causing students loss but their health was top priority and the government would not make any compromise on it,”.

Regarding the examinations of Matric and Intermediate , Shafqat Mahmood remarked that during the NCOC meeting the consensus was built on the final examinations that they would be held as per prescribed schedule.

While providing specified details he said O and A levels Cambridge examinations were scheduled from April 26 and we are going to hold a meeting with Cambridge authorities for postponing the examinations due to upward trend in the pandemic and the decision in that regard will be made afterward.

During the press conference, Federal Minister remarked that provinces were permitted to operate staggered classes in low-risk districts. A final review would be made after viewing overall situation with health and education ministers on April 7, he said declaring that if some academies violating closure orders would be sealed.

Earlier after noticing COVID-19 spike, the government decided to close educational institutions from March 15 to March 28th, but now the date has been extended.