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pakistan
Friday Sep 25 2020
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All classes below 8th grade to resume on Sept 28 in Sindh: Saeed Ghani

KARACHI: Sindh education minister Saeed Ghani on Friday announced that all classes below the eighth grade will resume on September 28 and not the slightest bit of violation of safety protocols on the part of school administration will be tolerated.

"Pre-primary, primary and secondary classes have all been allowed to go to back to school," he said.

He explained that there had been no disruption as such in the reopening of schools and that it was only the second phase of reopening that had been delayed by only a week.

Ghani said that the schools that were sealed were due to two reasons: if a coronavirus case was found in school staff, or if children had been asked to rejoin at a time when the permission by the government had not been granted.

"Now as we resume the reopening of schools, Sindh has decided that very strict enforcement of safety measures will be ensured," he warned.

The announcement comes a day after Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho's warning against reopening of schools.

Speaking to Geo News, Dr Pechuho had said the coronavirus positivity rate in the province "has increased from 1.5% to 3%" and that it was unwise to reopen schools in the current situation.

Last week, Ghani had announced that the reopening of schools for sixth, seventh and eighth graders was being delayed over fears of the spread of COVID-19 as educational institutes were not observing the safety protocols issued by the government.

The minister had said that students from these grades will be asked to rejoin school on September 28, subject to if the COVID-19 situation improves. He said in this period, the provincial government will see how the following of SOPs can be better enforced.

"Our purpose is not to shut down schools permanently [...] we simply seek for them to mend their ways when we see they are not fulfilling their responsibility. They should follow through with the commitments made.

"And the following of safety protocols is not to be done for our satisfaction. Our children go to these schools. It is a question of their health and safety," the education minister had said.