Pakistan to reopen schools in phases from January 18

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Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus attend their classrooms at a school in Islamabad.
Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus attend their classrooms at a school in Islamabad.

Islamabad - Classes 1 to 8 would resume from January 25 and all higher educational institutions would resume classes from February 1, says minister

By Agencies

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Published: Mon 4 Jan 2021, 9:57 PM

Last updated: Mon 4 Jan 2021, 10:02 PM

The government on Monday announced its decision to reopen educational institutions across the country in a phased manner from January 18.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a meeting, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that in the first phase, Classes 9 to 12 would resume from January 18, Dawn News reported.

In the second phase, Classes 1 to 8 would resume from January 25. All higher educational institutions would resume from February 1, he added.

The education minister said that teachers and administrative staff of schools would be allowed to resume from January 11 after the winter vacations were over.

Online learning can also be resumed from January 11, the minister said.

Board exams which were due to be held in March and April were postponed to May and June because “the children have not completed their coursework and we want to give them time [to prepare]”, Mahmood said.

The government would review the health situation again on January 14 or 15 to “see if the trajectory is under control”, he added.

However, no one will be promoted without exams. “Let me emphasise that this year nobody will be promoted without exams,” the minister said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Punjab Minister for School Education Dr Murad Raas tweeted that classes in the province would resume according to the schedule announced by Mahmood.

“All institutions will have 50 per cent students on alternate days as before,” he added.

During a press conference, Raas said that the 50 per cent attendance policy was “the most important thing”.

He said that schools were being opened “not because the coronavirus situation [had improved] but because the children were incurring huge educational losses”.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan in March 2020, all educational institutions remained closed until September 15.

But due to a resurgence, the educational institutions across the country were closed again on November 26, 2020, after remaining open for about two-and-a-half-months.


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