Monday Mar 01, 2021
LAHORE: Punjab's Minister for Education Murad Raas on Monday announced that the school year in the province will begin on August 1, 2021 and will end on March 31, 2022.
Taking to Twitter, the minister also posted an official notification issued in this regard, according to which the decision was taken during a meeting of the Inter Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) on February 26, 2021.
A few days ago, Murad Raas had released a list of districts which will follow the alternate-school-day rule until April 1 due to higher coronavirus incidences therein.
Districts not in the list "will follow prior COVID-19 schedule," the minister had written on Twitter.
The attached notification stated that districts having a higher COVID-19 positivity ratio — such as more than 20 cases in the last 24 hours — will be subject to the rule.
The districts with high positivity rates reportedly include Lahore, Gujrat, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad.
According to the existing rule: "Students of all the educational institutions shall attend classes on alternate days with 50% ratio on any single working day as detailed in earlier letter [...] dated 12th September, 2020."
The above was amended to state: "Students of all the educational institutions are allowed to attend classes 5/6 days a week (as the case may be) w.e.f. 01-03-2021 except in the districts mentioned above."
According to the notification, the amendment will be reviewed on March 31.
Strict implementation of safety measures must be ensured and has already been communicated to all those concerned, it added.
The Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood had earlier announced that all schools would resume regular 5-day classes from March 1.
“Restrictions imposed in some major cities on schools to conduct staggered classes was only till Feb 28,” he added.
Raas' notification was to distinguish and clarify that the districts with high positivity will be exempt from this rule.