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Saturday Jan 16 2021
Web Desk

Punjab govt issues notification regarding reopening of schools

Web Desk

  • Punjab govt says notification is in line with decisions taken in inter-provincial ministers' meeting
  • Students will have to attend classes on alternative days
  • Punjab govt says board examinations to be held in May and June

LAHORE: With schools reopening across Pakistan on Monday, the Punjab government has issued instructions for schools to comply with.

A notification issued by the School Education Department on Friday informed the schools about the decisions taken in the Inter Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC). It said that rules have been developed in line with the federal education ministry’s notification issued on January 5.

Notification issued by the Punjab government. Photo: Murad Rass/Twitter 

According to the notification, students from all the educational institutes will attend classes on alternative days. The student ratio must remain at a 50% on each day.

The provincial department stated that the board examinations for SSC and HSSC students will be held in May and June.

Read more: Murad Raas says Punjab schools will be closed at once if need be amid coronavirus

“The Accelerated learning Programme (ALP) communicated earlier shall continue to be followed by the Public Schools. Assessment criteria and Examinations schedule for 5th and 8th grade shall be communicated separately by the Punjab Examination Commission,” read the notification.

The department reminded all schools to “ensure strict implementations of SOPs” that have been communicated over time by the Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department and School Education Department, Punjab.

“School timing shall be observed as per previous practice in winter season,” added the notification.

Classes 9-12 to rejoin from Jan 18

On Friday, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood addressed a press conference on the reopening of schools after a high-level meeting at the National Command and Operations Centre to review the decision to reopen educational institutions amid a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's what was decided in the NCOC meeting:

  1. Classes will start for students of grades nine to 12 students from January 18 as decided earlier. Exams are due for these students.
  2. Federal and provincial governments have decided that students will not be passed without exams this year like they were last year.
  3. One-week extension granted for start of classes for students of grades 1-8. They were earlier supposed to start by January 25.
  4. Primary schools will reopen from February 1.
  5. Higher education institutes still to reopen by February 1 as decided earlier.

The NCOC will re-evaluate data in a week and decide whether primary schools and higher education institutes opening on February 1 in cities where infections rates are high is appropriate or not as infection rate differ between cities.

Read more: Punjab education minister assures parents of strict compliance of COVID-19 SOPs in schools

It is possible that if infection rate is high in a particular city, educational institutes may not reopen there.

Latest statistics show that the positivity ratio has gone down to 6.10%, but it is still high, the rate of critical patients is still as high as it was in November and so is the infection rate, he said.

"One thing is clear: all those associated with education in. politics or the government realise that learning levels of children has been severely affected because of the closure of schools," Mehmood had said.