The Education Minister, Mr Shafqat Mehmood announced the date for the schools reopening in Pakistan which was 15 September.
Thousands of educational institutions opened on 15 September after six months-long closure due to the COVID-19.
Pakistan saw the first patient of COVID-19 in the end of February 2020. The educational institutions closed in March to ensure the precautionary measures. The pandemic hit Pakistan badly and about 6,400 patients have died due to Corona to date.
The Smart Lock-down Strategy
The areas where the Corona patients are increasing, Pakistan imposed a smart lock-down strategy. This strategy got much appreciation from the global world.
PM Imran Khan said, “We are the pioneers of this approach”. He was referring to the smart lockdown strategy that works on the coronavirus hotspots and has extremely benefited Pakistan.
Now, after having control on the Pandemic, Pakistan has reopened its educational institutions from 15th September with SOPs to follow for everyone. According to the Minister of Education, the students of grades 9 to 12 will return on Sept. 15 along with the Higher education institutions to reopen on the same day.
Students weaing masks while going to school. Courtesy: SamaaTv
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that to ensure a safe teaching environment in the institutions, his government has made SOPs. Every institution will have to follow those SOPs to ensure their staff’s and students safety.
In a tweet on 14th September Khan said, “Tomorrow we will welcome millions of children back to school. It is our priority & collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safely to learn. We have worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety rules on #COVID19”.
In a press conference, the Education Minister Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, while announcing the reopening of some educational institutes, said that the other remaining institutions will be reopened in phases to avoid another wave of the coronavirus.
“If all goes fine, then the students in grade six to eight will return to school on 23rd September, while the students in nursery to grade five will be back to school on 30th September”, said by the Education Minister Mr. Shafqat Mahmood.
SOP’s for Schools Reopening in Pakistan
The SOPs issued by the Government of Pakistan are:
- Masks are mandatory for everyone (Teachers, students, other staff, etc.)
- Educational institutes will ensure to sanitize the hands at the entry gate for every person.
- Temperature checking at the entry gate.
- Social distance between students.
The Punjab School Education Department has reduced the syllabus of students. Only 40 percent of the syllabus will be covered that include the important and compulsory sections. Furthermore, there will two equal groups in which students will be divided i.e. Group A and Group B in all the public and private schools.
The Group A students will come to school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while the students of Group B will ensure their presence on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Private institutions can form their own calendar keeping in view the grouping of students and the SOPs.
Meanwhile, there won’t be any winter vacations and the educational institutions will continue to run according to the Government’s directions.