ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday while expressing satisfaction on the coronavirus situation, allowed all primary schools across the country to reopen from Wednesday, under the government-defined standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, while briefing media after a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on the Covid-19, said that the decision to reopen primary schools was taken in consultation with all the provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Mahmood said that over 30 million students were getting education at primary level in Pakistan.
Action will be taken against those who will not follow the SOPs devised to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus, he warned.
The minister said since the reopening of educational institutes from September 15th, 171,436 coronavirus tests were carried out in the education sector.
Of these, he said that 1,284 tested positive, which was less than one percent.
Mahmood said a mere 0.8 percent of the samples taken at educational institutes, after they resumed on-campus classes, turned out to be positive for the Covid-19.
"The decision regarding school reopening was made keeping in view children's future," he added.
He said many schools were sealed for violating the SOPs.
According to the SOPs issued by the government, masks are mandatory for all teachers and students, while schools, colleges, and university administrations were directed to ensure availability of sanitisers at the entry gates.
In Sindh, however, all primary and secondary schools resumed classes from Monday.
Educational institutes in the country reopened in phases starting September 15th, with universities, colleges and classes 9th and 10th resuming on-campus sessions first.
Secondary classes across Pakistan except Sindh resumed on September 23rd as the province delayed the resumption due to the increased number of coronavirus cases.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020