The Government of Pakistan has decided to reopen schools in phases, according to a report released by local media, Geo News.
The decision came after a meeting between the Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood and the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) to discuss the best way to reopen schools.
Mehmood indicated that the first classes to reopen will be classes 9th to 12th on January 18th. This will be followed by the reopening of primary classes up to the 8th of January 25th.
Pakistan decision to reopen
The directive by the Education Minister, however, indicated that higher education reopening would be delayed and they will wait until 1st February to reopen.
Dr. Faisal Sultan, Honorable SAPM on health, noted that the rate of coronavirus infection in the country had started to drop during school lockdowns and expressed concerns about the reopening of the schools. However, he also indicated that following the rules and safety protocols implemented by the Pakistan government would go a long way in curbing the spread of coronavirus in the country.
SAPM made it clear that based on the data available about the rate of coronavirus infection in the country, they were for delaying the reopening of the schools. However, Mehmood reiterated the need for the reopening of schools and assured students that the Pakistan government was valued the health of the school-going children and no compromise would be made about their safety.
Mehmood indicated that teachers and school administrative staff could now safely return to school from January 11th. He also announced that the board of exams had postponed exams until May and June to give students enough time to prepare.
The Federal Education Minister also said that another meeting would be held on January 14-15 to review how the country was doing healthwise. This meeting would help forge the way forward. He said this while reiterating that the decision to reopen schools had been done after consultation with provinces.