Shafqat Mehmood: Schools to reopen in Pakistan


After a detailed analysis of the situation by health and education ministers, the authorities have decided to start classes for 9th,10th,11th,12th as per the announced schedule of Jan 18, 2021. Priority is being given to them because of board exams that have been postponed to May: Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced on Twitter today.

All other institutions from class 1 to 8 (primary and secondary) and Universities are set to reopen from 1st February 2021.

Shafqat Mehmood announced that the federal and provincial governments have decided that this year no student will be allowed to pass without proper examination, unlike last year.

Pakistan shut its schools and postponed exams in November to try to curb new coronavirus infections and a rise in the number of people in hospital with COVID-19.

Students, including those at higher educational institutions, as well as in private schools,  to continued classes through distance learning until December 24, when schools are scheduled to go on winter break until January 11.

“All efforts will be made to make sure that education continues from home,” Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said, announcing the closure of schools, adding that “if the situation improves” schools would reopen on January 11.

The judgment to close schools, administrators have said, was based on a rise in the rate of positive test results in the country. The rate of people testing positive in June was as high as 23% but dropped to a low of 1.7% by September.

More than 19% of new cases were from educational institutions, where the rate of positive results had nearly doubled in one week to reach 3.3%.

The south Asian country has ruled out a wide-ranging lockdown, opting to close down non-essential public gatherings in a bid to keep the economy afloat through the pandemic.

“We do not know what this winter is going to be like, so there is a bit of worry right now because our cases are rising up quite rapidly these days,” Prime Minister Imran Khan told an event organized by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

“We are going to only lock down the non-essential, in other words, the public gatherings and so on where our economy doesn’t get hurt.”

Pakistan closed educational institutions between March and September to combat the spread of the virus. State television and radio stations were used to broadcast lessons for students at home for students in government schools.

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