Govt announces SOPs for schools

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ISLAMABAD, SEP 04 (DNA) – The final decision regarding reopening schools across Pakistan will be made on September 7 after assessing the coronavirus situation in the country, however, all schools will have to strictly follow SOPs announced by the government, Prime Minister’s Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said on Friday.

During a media briefing, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood and Sultan issued the precautionary measures that all schools will have to follow when educational institutions reopen.

Schools and parents will have to adhere to the following instructions after the institutions reopen: First secondary classes will start and then primary classes will begin; The number of students in a class will be reduced, which means that half of the students will attend the session one day and half will do it the other day; Students will have to wear face masks at all times.

Dr Sultan said that it’s better if the masks are made at home; Social distancing and washing hands should be strictly implemented; Sanitiser should be installed in schools and students should encouraged to use them repeatedly; Every student attending school in-person will have to get tested for coronavirus in two weeks; Students with lower immunity levels should not be sent to school; and Students will have lunch inside class during breaks.

Mahmood stressed the importance of the role of principals and teachers in the implementation of SOPs. “The student will be the responsibility of the school,” he said.

“In the last six months the educational loss incurred by students has been immense,” the minister said, adding that small schools have suffered the most during this time. He advised that when children come back, their tests should be taken to gauge their learning levels.

In another meeting of the steering committee headed by Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, it was suggested that educational institutions be reopened in stages.

Classes above the ninth grade should begin on September 15, followed by secondary level classes (grades six to eight) from September 21. Ghani suggested that primary classes should begin the last, from September 28.

“We have sent the suggestions to the federal committee,” he said, adding that a final decision will be taken after the meeting next week. =DNA

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