Educational institutions to remain closed after June 1

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Observer Report

Islamabad

A meeting, presided over by Education Minister Shafaqat Mahmood, has decided that educational institutions across the country will remain closed even after June 1 due to the deadly coronavirus.
During the meeting, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan opposed the idea of reopening schools from June 1, however, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa supported the idea to reopen schools from June 1.
The provincial education ministers participated in the meeting through video link. Moreover, the participants decided to put the matter in front of National Coordination Committee meeting for further action.
Earlier Wednesday, Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas rejected the rumors that the schools would be opened on June 1, saying that safety of children and teachers was their first priority.
The provincial minister for School Education, Murad Raas, took to Twitter to dismiss fake news, attributed to him, which stated that the government has decided to open schools from the first of June no matter the cost.
The education minister said that lives of children and teachers are the top priority of the government, adding that a final decision will be announced by him.
He also urged the people to not follow the fake news regarding the opening of schools. He wrote, “Let it be very clear for all concerned. No decision has been made regarding opening of schools on June 1. Discussions are underway.”
Sindh Minister for Education Saeed Ghani said that all schools are obliged not to sack teachers and pay their salaries.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, he said that most of the businesses have closed down due to the outbreak of coronavirus, adding that the State Bank of Pakistan should give interest free loans to those institutions which cannot pay their salaries.
The minister said that the SBP has announced a scheme that institutions which are not able to pay salaries to employees can pay salaries to employees by taking a loan from central bank.He said that all the schools are compelled to pay full salary to the employees and will not fire them.Ghani demanded that those whose electricity bill is less than Rs 4,000 be divided into installments for the next 10 months, while the gas and electricity bills of madrassas and mosques should be waived off. The PPP leader requested the federal government to waive off the bill of Rs 2,000 in residential areas.

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