Sunday May 31, 2020
Punjab government on Sunday warned that any school, public or private, if reopened tomorrow (Monday), will be dealt with strictly and all educational institutes must remain closed till the provincial government's official notification in the matter.
Taking to Twitter, Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas stated that no private or public school in the province will open till the Punjab government allows it through a notification.
"We will not let anyone [endanger] the lives of our children and teachers and their families," the provincial minister wrote on Twitter.
Last week, the Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) stood against reopening schools in the province, maintaining that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) formed to stem the spread of the coronavirus is not only difficult but almost impossible and advised the government against reopening primary and middle schools as more cases of the pandemic emerge each day.
In a press release, PTU Central President Chaudhry Sarfraz and other leaders observed that owing to a large number of children, it would not be possible to seat children away from each other at a safe distance, in accordance with the SOPs. The PTU said that amid the scorching heat, problems such as power outages and the supply of cold drinking water to schools would also be faced.
Meanwhile, Balochistan education minister Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind said that the decision to reopen schools will be reviewed and decided by July 15.
He said that all the provinces had unanimously agreed to keep schools closed till then.
"We value the health of our students and teachers just as we value education," said the minister.
Rind also issued a stark warning to any private institution looking to reopen.
"If the private schools association makes such a move, action will be taken against it," he vowed.
Earlier in the day, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani had said that no decision to reopen schools has been taken yet as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise in the province.
“Once we have taken a look at the situation at hand, we will decide about reopening schools,” Ghani had told Geo News.
The education minister had revealed that a meeting of the education department’s steering committee has been called for next week which will discuss how to reopen schools or whether the government should extend the closure. “We are making a plan for the students regarding the school year,” Ghani had added.