LAHORE: The Punjab School Education Department (SED) on Monday stopped the rationalisation process of schoolteachers due to coronavirus pandemic.

The department had completed the process on March 15. The rationalisation was being conducted in the department to fulfill the shortage of teacher in some schools. The department had planned to implement student-teacher ratio in all schools of the province.

The department was taking measures to transfer extra teachers of some schools to those areas where there was a shortage [of teachers].

SED spokesman said the process of rationalisation would be started when the situation would normalise.

He said the department had completed its paperwork and the teachers would have to join their new postings after issuance of orders.

Meanwhile, the district school education authority has stopped distribution of books of the upcoming academic year after the pandemic.

The authority was to distribute 3.8 million books but stopped the process as the upcoming academic year is likely to face delay owing to the Covid-19 situation.

The spokesman said the process of distribution of books would start soon after opening of the schools in the province.

The authorities are of the view that the upcoming academic session is likely to face delay as they are also thinking of reducing summer vacation if the situation normalises after lockdown in the province.

PITB: The Punjab government officials have started video conferencing from laptops and mobile phones in order to maintain social distance.

The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) on direction of Chief Secretary retired Maj Azam Suleman has extended video conferencing system to government departments and officials in line with the social distancing.

Officials can now conduct and participate in meetings via video conferencing on their laptops, mobiles, or tablets not only from their offices but from anywhere, homes or even cars. Now it is not necessary for government officials to come to offices in their respected areas for video conference meeting.

This step has been taken to ensure smooth operations without disruption and to facilitate critical communication despite restricted mobility. Through the extended system, officials can expedite real-time exchange of information to counter the threat of coronavirus and accelerate responses in emergencies.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2020