Saturday Jan 16, 2021
Schools and other educational institutes should not be reopened in Karachi and Hyderabad as the cities have a high coronavirus positivity ratio, Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said Saturday.
The health minister's comments come a day after Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced the reopening of educational institutions across the country starting from January 18.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, the health minister said that educational institutes should be reopened only after the positivity rate reaches 3% — which stood at 10% a day earlier in Sindh.
Clarifying that not all educational institutions were reopening, she noted that classes for grades 9-10 would resume from January 18 as their board examinations were nearing.
The health minister, talking about virus curbs, said that the attendance of students of classes 9th and 10th would be kept at 50% as the infection could spread.
"When students sit together in classes it increases the risk of the virus' spread," the health minister said.
A day earlier, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani had said that the schools in the province will reopen in accordance with the National Command and Operations Centre's (NCOC) decision.
The education minister, speaking to the media, said that the classes for students in grades 9-12 would start from January 18, while the rest of the educational institutions will reopen from February 1.
Ghani said that after NCOC's meeting, it was decided that in the first phase, classes 9-12 will resume studies on January 18, while primary to eighth-grade classes and universities would resume studies from February 1.
Ghani noted that the ministers would review the COVID-19 situation and the final decision — before the complete reopening of educational institutions — would be made on February 1.
Meanwhile, according to a notification issued by Sindh's College Education Department, SSC/HSSC exams would be held in May and June.
Here's what the notification mentioned: