In statement, forum says delayed holidays will ease administration of vaccines to students
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Friday announced that it was directing educational institutions across Pakistan to commence winter vacations from Jan. 3, 2022—barring any areas affected by extreme weather conditions or smog.
It said provincial entities would issue separate notifications about their winter break schedule accordingly. The Sindh government has already announced that winter holidays in all educational institutions falling within its domain would commence on Dec. 20 and conclude on Jan. 3.
The NCOC statement stressed that the decision to delay winter holidays till Jan. 3 intended to ensure a maximum number of students could get vaccinated against COVID-19 in educational institutions as part of an ongoing vaccination campaign. It said that millions of students remained unvaccinated, even though data suggested children were susceptible to the infection.
“Parents are urged to get their children vaccinated at the earliest to protect them and those around them,” it said, adding that a potential uptick in infections was also expected around January so delaying vacations would result in “minimal disruption” of educational calendars.
A day earlier, the Lahore High Court directed the Punjab government to consider commencing winter vacations in educational institutions from Dec. 20 in a bid to reduce smog in provincial capital Lahore. In an order issued during hearing of petitions related to hazardous smog that has been plaguing Punjab the past month, it said that the move would lead to a reduction in vehicles on the roads, which would reduce emissions that cause pollution and boost smog.