On, off syndrome

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THE Sindh Government has announced closure of all educational institutions in the province for an indefinite period.

As the private educational institutions were insisting on reopening of the schools, a directive has been issued to them warning against violation of the decision, threatening that action will be initiated against the school as per the Sindh Private Educational Institutions Ordinance 2001, Act-2003 and Rules-2005, which may lead to suspension/cancellation of school registration.

The concerns of the provincial government are understandable as Sindh has borne the brunt of the dreadful fourth wave of Covid-19 that increased the number of patients in hospitals to three-folds during the last one and a half months.

However, we have been emphasizing in these columns that the education sector has suffered the most due to the situation created by the Covid-19 as educational institutions open for a short period and are closed for longer durations because of safety concerns for children.

The impact of this long closure would not only be felt by the affected students for their entire life but also by the country and, therefore, a way-out has to be found to save the education sector.

The educational institutions in Sindh were closed as part of the renewed safety precautions that the province introduced due to intensity of the 4th wave.

Now that all other activities are taking place as a routine, there is hardly any justification to keep educational institutions closed for an indefinite period and that too in the initial months of the new academic year

The Sindh Government maintains the educational institutions would remain closed till vaccination of their entire staff but the question arises what prevents the vaccination when there is no shortage of vaccines in the country.

Instead of closing schools for an indefinite period, a final deadline and warning should be issued to all teachers and staff and violators taken to task.

Repeated extension of the deadline for opening of schools encourages laxity on the part of teachers and staff members.

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