Govt decides to reopen schools in phases

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Nazir Siyal

KARACHI: Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced on Monday that schools and educational institutions will reopen across the country in three phases.

“On January 18, classes for grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 — those that have exams — will resume,” he said during a news conference along with SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan. “This means that students of grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 will go to their schools and colleges from January 18 and their studies will resume.”

He said that in the second phase, students of primary classes till grade 8 will return to schools from January 25.

The minister said that universities and other higher education institutions will reopen from February 1 in the third and last phase.

Reopening schedule:

Online learning can resume from Jan 11

Classes 9 to 12 would start from Jan 18

Classes 1 to 8 would start from Jan 25

Higher education classes at universities and colleges to start from Feb 1

Board exams have been postponed to May and June. Speaking on the occasion, SPAM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said they noted a decline in infection rate after the educational institutions were closed and urged the masses to keep following the safety protocols announced by the government.

The SAPM added that keeping in view the current data we decided to further delay the reopening of schools.

Meanwhile, Shafqat Mehmood said the administrative staff and teachers can resume their duties at schools, colleges and universities from January 11. “Online and home-based learning, can also be held from January 11,” he said.

The minister announced that board exams have been postponed till May and June as students did not have enough time to prepare for their exams.

Mahmood said that another meeting will be held on January 14-15 by the education ministers to review the health situation in the country. He reiterated that the decisions had been taken after consulting all provinces.

Prior to Mahmood’s press conference, Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas tweeted that classes from grades 9-12 will resume in the province from January 18 while those from ECE to 8th grade will resume from January 25.

“Universities to open on February 1st, 2021. All institutions will have 50% students on alternate days as before,” he tweeted.