A long awaited decision is now on the verge of final approval as Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training is about to announce the opening up of educational institutes. A meeting between all educational stakeholders and inter-provincial educational ministers is scheduled in the first week of September which will decide the fate of educational institutes. With new covid-19 cases declining in the country and opening up of other sectors in a phase wise manner is a huge indication that schools will also be allowed to open up. However, no school is advised to call their students prior to any policy decision made by the government.
A latest development in this matter was an important meeting conducted by Punjab’s Educational Minister in which all the school owners were called for discussing the opening up of schools. All the schools were not given any approval of opening the schools in fact they were called to discuss the SOPs for curbing the spread of corona virus within the schools. Education Minister said that schools can be opened in a phase wise manner in which students of higher classes can be called so that their academic loss is reduced to minimal levels. Students from class 6 and above can be called from 15th September, whereas, the other grades decision can be taken at a later stage. In the meanwhile, education of Nursery to class 5 can continue in the same manner as it is going on.
Moreover, there was a high debate on running the schools in different shifts but that will be highly demanding for the staff and faculty. In solution to such a key challenge, it was brought on board that schools can operate by dividing students in two groups. Students coming to school on one day will be having an off on the next day and second group will be attending the school that day. Punjab’s Education Ministry has taken the lead by discussing such policy decisions with the schools and given school owners the time till 25th August, 2020. School Owners are requested to discuss the same suggestions within their schools and come up with their recommendations so a decision can be taken in the days to come. Lastly, a strict adherence to provided SOPs was advised to all schools which includes a long list of health awareness, hygiene conditions and presence of medical staff.