KARACHI: After some conflicting views presenting by the ministers of Sindh, Education Minister Saeed Ghani on Friday announced that all classes below the eighth grade will resume on September 28.
He added that there will be no tolerance regarding violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) by school administrations.
“Pre-primary, primary and secondary classes have all been allowed to go to back to school,” he said, adding that there had been no disruption in the reopening of schools and that it was only the second phase of reopening that had been delayed by only a week.
Ghani said that the schools that were sealed were due to two reasons: if a coronavirus case was found in school staff, or if children had been asked to re-join at a time when the permission by the government had not been granted.
“Now as we resume the reopening of schools, Sindh has decided that very strict enforcement of safety measures will be ensured,” he added.
Ghani’s announcement after Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho warned against the reopening of schools in light of the rising number of cases.
Dr Pechuho had said to a local news outlet that the Covid-19 positivity rate in the province “has increased from 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent” and said it was rash to reopen schools in the current circumstances.
Last week, Ghani had announced that the reopening of schools for grades six to eight had been delayed due to fears of the novel disease due to the lack of SOPs being followed in educational institutes.
The minister had said that as schools reopen on September 28, the provincial government will see how the following of SOPs can be better enforced.
“Our purpose is not to shut down schools permanently […] we simply seek for them to mend their ways when we see they are not fulfilling their responsibility. They should follow through with the commitments made.
“And the following of safety protocols is not to be done for our satisfaction. Our children go to these schools. It is a question of their health and safety,” the education minister had said.