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Thursday May 07 2020

Educational institutes to remain closed till July 15: Shafqat Mahmood


ISLAMABAD: Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the government has decided to close educational institutes until July 15 while cancelling board exams until the end of this year.

Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood addressed media after a session of the National Coordination Committee today.

In his address, the minister said that the government had earlier decided to close educational institutions until May 31 but then it approved an extension until the mid of July.

Mahmood said that due to the ongoing crisis, the board examinations for the ninth grade to intermediate (12th grade) will not be held.

He said that students will be promoted on the basis of the last years’ exams, adding that on this basis, students will be admitted to universities over their intermediate first-year results.

Govt decision 'rejected'

President All Pakistan Schools Federation Kashif Mirza said that they reject the government decision to close the educational institutions until July 15.

He said the salaries of the teachers are fixed and more than 90 percent schools are running on rented buildings.

Mirza said that the prime minister should announce an ‘Educational Relief Package’ for the schools.

The government should allow schools to reopen from June 1 and announce SOPs in this regard, he said.

Lockdown to be eased from Saturday

On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government has decided to ease the lockdown in the country considering the impact it has had on the economy.

“We have decided to open the country in a phased manner from Saturday and it is now the responsibility of the masses to follow the rules otherwise we would be forced to reverse the decision.”

In detail: PM Imran announces ease in lockdown restrictions beginning Saturday

PM Imran said, “I was in favour of allowing public transport but the provinces did not agree to it. So, it has been decided that the provinces will make their own standard operating procedures (SOPs) and share with the Centre.”

PM Imran said that the government has announced a relief package of Rs 1.2 trillion, which is the "biggest in Pakistan’s history".

PM’s focal person on coronavirus, Dr Faisal Sultan said that the committee members consult colleagues from around the world and seek their input to make policies accordingly.

“We keep a close eye on global trends. Our trajectory of the cases is slow but we don’t want to ease restriction in such a way that we lose control of the disease.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the NCC had proposed easing in lockdown restrictions after May 9.