LAHORE: All the educational institutions including seminaries in Lahore reopened on Tuesday after a six-month break amid concerns of implementation of COVID-19 safety protocols and fears of a second wave of the virus.
Earlier, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had announced that all higher education institutions in the country will reopen from September 15, while the students in grade IX to 12 will also return to school the same day. "If all goes well, then students in grade VI to VIII will return to school on September 23, while students in the nursery to grade V will be back to school on September 30," he said.
According to the guidelines issued by the government, the use of masks will be mandatory for all teachers and students, while schools, colleges and universities will ensure the presence of hand sanitizers at the entrance.
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) urged the parents and teachers to comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued for the safety of students.
In a statement, the NCOC called upon the administrations of educational institutions to ensure proper implementation of health guidelines such as mask-wearing, social distancing to keep the coronavirus at bay.
Meanwhile, Punjab University on Tuesday has been opened for the teachers and PhD/M Phil students in the first phase with strict implementation of standard operating procedures against the spread of COVID-19. In this regard, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad visited main entry gates and laboratories of various departments to monitor implementation of SOPs and sensitize the relevant staff and students to strictly adopt preventative measures.
Prof Niaz Ahmed welcomed the students and teachers at Gate No 1 and advised them to follow SOPs. Talking to the media, Prof Niaz Ahmad said that all the teachers, students and employees had been instructed to wear masks, wash hands repeatedly and maintain distance among them. He said that although the figure of coronavirus patients was not alarming in Pakistan however there was a need to adopt preventive measures in our everyday life in order for keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control. Meanwhile, the university security guards at the main gates of the university and staff of the departments at the entry points were using thermal guns to check the body temperature. They advised the students to wear masks properly and maintain distance among them. Meanwhile, the online classes of various semesters of BS and Master's level programmes continued on Tuesday as per the plan under phase-wise opening of the universities.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020