Despite imposition of the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) to close educational institutions on Saturdays and Sundays, some educational institutions in Islamabad still remained open on Saturday with a number of teaching and non-teaching staff, putting their health on risks.
According to an official source, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training directed the educational institutions through Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to suspend on-campus academic activities from September 04 to September 11 owing to spike in Covid-19 positive cases.
However, principals were directed to keep their respective offices functional for the official business as per routine.
On the other hand, the District Magistrate had already imposed lockdown on Saturday and Sunday in Islamabad in compliance to the decisions of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in wake of the rising coronavirus cases but few educational institutions of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) had observed Saturday as working day.
A female teacher at Islamabad Model College for Girls I-8/4 on the condition of anonymity said, “The teachers of junior section were directed by the Principal to attend the college on Saturday.
The teachers had to arrange special transport for the purpose as no public transport was available in the morning.”
She said that if the on-campus academic activities have been suspended on Saturday by the authorities then there was no need of calling the staff in the institutions.
Another female teacher (not mentioning her school) said, “Our Principal directed the staff to come to school saying that holidays were meant for students only. It was very surprising that government offices, markets, and gatherings were banned on Saturday but our school was open.”
“Our health is also important and precious at a time when the threat of Covid-19 is looming on our heads and cases are increasing in the city”, the teachers said while urging the concerned department to take a clear cut decision for all the institutions.
A clerk at Islamabad Model Postgraduate College H-8 said, “According to FDE notification, the Principal and his staff should be on duty, so all the non teaching staff came to attend the college”.
“However other colleges observed Saturday as holiday. Educational institutions all the time observe that there are ambiguities in the decisions and policies of FDE regarding all the institutions”, he said.