Educational institutions reopened across the country on Tuesday, ending a six-month-long break due to the emergence of the novel Coronavirus in Pakistan.
The Ministry of Education announced that in the first phase of reopening, all higher education institutions – from class IX to XII and above – will resume classes from Tuesday. In the second phase, secondary schools will reopen and in the third phase, primary schools will resume.
According to the standard operating procedures issued by the government, masks are mandatory for all students and teachers, while the administration must ensure the availability of sanitizers at the gate.
The government’s guidelines state that there will be no morning assembly and the temperature of the students will be checked before entering the classrooms.
In addition, students must ensure a safe distance between chairs in the classrooms. Foolproof security arrangements were made at the main gates of all the institutions.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Faisal Sultan welcomed students on their first day of school after a six-month-long break following the outbreak.
He requested parents, schools, administrators, teachers and students to follow basic protective steps – ensuring the use of face masks, fewer students in class and hand hygiene.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, during a visit to a college in Islamabad’s G-6/3 area, celebrated the reopening of schools amid the pandemic.
He was hopeful that SOPs will be implemented and warned that institutions that do not follow the government’s guidelines will be closed for non-compliance. The federal minister said teachers must ensure that students are following SOPs.
Shafqat said that around 215 universities were functioning across the country and each university has its hostel. He also called for implementing SOPs in the hostels as well. He said that the number of students in educational institutions will be increased in phases. He said the phases of in and out from schools were very crucial for students.