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Pakistan

Pakistan to close educational institutes in COVID hotspot till April 11

  • Minister says there has been a surge in the number of cases in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir
  • Government will hold a meeting with the Cambridge exams board to see whether examinations can be postponed or not: Mahmood
Published March 24, 2021

(Karachi) Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has said that schools and other educational institutes in Pakistan that are located in coronavirus hotspot areas will remain closed till April 11.

Addressing a press briefing after the meeting of National Command and Operation Centre in Islamabad on Wednesday, Shafqat said that there has been a surge in the number of cases in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir. “The number of infections is relatively less in Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit-Balochistan,” he stated.

Mahmood added that the provincial governments will decide the areas where schools will be closed. "As you know there were nine districts in Punjab [where schools were closed down], then another was added. We closed them in Peshawar and then eight other districts were added."

He said that the provincial governments will take the necessary steps based on the numbers. "If they wish to call teachers and administrative staff, they can do so."

He said that board examinations will take place according to their timetable as giving students the "baseline" grade was no longer an option.

The minister maintained that the government will hold a meeting with the Cambridge exams board to see whether examinations can be postponed or not.

Earlier on March 14, the government announced closure of educational institutions in different cities of Punjab, as well as in Peshawar and Islamabad for two weeks amid rise in the the Covid-19 cases.

The federal government had announced a two-week Spring Break in Islamabad, Peshawar and seven Punjab cities where the positivity was high and imposed restrictions to control the spread.

Mahmood had said that he is not in favour of shutting down educational institutes but the NCOC believed that there’s a high risk of coronavirus in schools.

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