Grade IX-XII students return to schools amid Covid SOPs

Punjab education minister sends best wishes to students, teachers on first day of school

ISLAMABAD: The educational institutions from grade IX to XII reopened on Monday across the country after a two-month break under strict compliance with the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The institutions were shut in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19 in November. Last week, the federal government approved a plan to resume on-campus learning to avoid further loss of education.

Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas sent his best wishes to students and teachers on the first day of school after a two-month break amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Raas urged everyone to keep their masks on at all times. He asked everyone to keep their distance from each other. “By following SOPs, we are protecting each other from COVID-19. Be safe. My best wishes are with you,” he wrote.

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood took to Twitter late Sunday evening and sent his best wishes to students. “Tomorrow classes 9 to 12, O and A level go back to school/ college. Wish them the very best,” the minister wrote. “Their future is our main priority,” he added.

In the next phase, grade I to VIII and higher educational institutions will reopen on 1st of February. The educational institutions have been directed to ensure compliance with the SOPs to avoid the spread of the pandemic.

A one-week extension was granted to start the classes for students of grades 1-8. They were earlier supposed to start by January 25.

It was decided that primary schools will reopen from February 1, while higher education institutes will also reopen from February 1 as decided earlier. The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) will re-evaluate data in a week and decide whether or not primary schools and higher education institutes will reopen on February 1 in cities where infections rates are high.

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