Govt pondering reopening schools with compliance of coronavirus SOPs: Federal Education minister

ISLAMABAD: Education Minister on Monday said the government was considering opening schools under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country.

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The minister said suggestions had been sought from the seminaries (Madaris) and private institutions of all provinces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Mahmood said a meeting had also been scheduled with the Ministry of Health in this regard, and that the decision would be taken in light of the NCOC data. He said the education ministry, through UNICEF, was in consultation with those countries which had opened schools under various SOPs.

He added that consultations were also being held with the UNICEL on the policy of the government.

“We want to end uncertainty on the basic important issue like education,” he said.

The minister said according to the Gallup Survey, around 70% of parents were willing to send their children to school under the implementation of SOPs. The minister hinted at holding a press conference on the issue to take parents into confidence after the preparation of a roadmap.

Sindh announces online classes for government schools

Earlier this month the Sindh government announced it had decided to start online classes for government schools, as students numbering in the thousands are forced to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Online classes will be held for grades 6-12,” a notification from the Sindh education department read.

The online classes will be launched with the help of The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Microsoft, with 75 masters trainers to train teachers regarding on holding online classes.

IT experts have been hired to conduct the online classes, the notification read.

Sindh education department’s steering committee under provincial minister Saeed Ghani had decided that teaching would not be allowed in any public or private educational institutions across the province.

However, private educational institutions were permitted to start online education. All of these schools must fully comply with coronavirus SOPs Ghani had added.

The education minister had said there no final decision had been reached yet on the reopening of schools in the province as COVID-19 cases continued to rise all over Pakistan.

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