ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has allowed the resumption of secondary classes from September 23 after the daily number of coronavirus infections continued to drop.
Following the directive, Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas on Monday announced the reopening of classes in schools across the province from Wednesday.
Raas, however, stressed on the importance of following the guidelines devised by the government to prevent a feared second wave.
“It is imperative for everyone to follow SOPs [standard operating procedures] issued by [the] School Education Department Punjab,” the minister tweeted.
All Public & Private Schools will be allowed classes 6 through 8 starting September 23rd. It is imperative for everyone to follow SOPs issued by School Education Department Punjab. All of us have to play our part to make this successful InshAllah. pic.twitter.com/0nId7NWNTr
— Murad Raas (@DrMuradPTI) September 22, 2020
Earlier in the day, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government also decided to reopen schools from tomorrow.
“We have decided to open schools for class 6 to 8 from tomorrow Insha Allah in [the] second phase across KP,” provincial Education Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai said on Twitter.
Attended NCOC meeting today and we have decided to open schools for class 6 to 8 from tomorrow Insha Allah in second phase across KP.
— Shahram Khan Tarakai (@ShahramKTarakai) September 22, 2020
Earlier this month, the federal government, following a dip in fresh infections, had decided to reopen in phases the educational institutions across the country. The institutions were closed down in March following the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
According to the government plan, classes six, seven and eight were allowed to return to schools on September 23 following a review. Whereas primary schools will be reopened on September 30 in the last phase.
All higher education institutions including universities, professional colleges, vocational institutes, as well as classes nine till 12 resumed classes on September 15.
Meanwhile, the government continues to close down institutions found violating the SOPs. Last week, the NCOC announced to close 13 such institutions — 10 in KP and three in Sindh — due to “non-compliance with health protocols and disease prevalence.”
Last Friday, the Balochistan education department closed two high schools after several students tested positive for the disease. The preceding day, 22 schools were sealed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).