Sindh has decided to postpone the decision by a week in light of rising cases of COVID-19
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Tuesday decided to allow grades 6-8 to resume in-person classes from Sept. 23 in line with its plans for a phased reopening of educational institutions across Pakistan.
In a statement issued after a meeting attended by Planning Minister Asad Umar, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan, and the federal education secretary as well as the provincial education ministers, the NCOC said it had decided to allow secondary classes after reviewing the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sept. 7, the government had announced that it would reopen educational institutions in three phases. In the first phase, colleges, universities and grades 9-12 were allowed to reopen on Sept. 16; in the second phase, grades 6-8 would be allowed to reopen on Sept. 23; and in the final phase, primary classes would resume from Sept. 30.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Education Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai confirmed the decision in a posting on Twitter. “We have decided to open schools for class 6 to 8 from tomorrow Insha Allah in second phase across KP,” he said.
While the decision would apply to schools in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab, Sindh last week announced it was postponing the resumption of classes by a week due to lax enforcement of safety protocols in schools.
“Our purpose is not to shut down schools permanently,” Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani told the press, adding that once the standard operating procedures had been fully implement, educational institutions would be allowed to return to normal operations.