PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has ordered the opening of public and private sector schools across the province from today (Thursday) for administrative and teaching staff members to make preparations for the resumption of classes next month in line with the standard operating procedures.
A notification issued by the elementary and secondary education department on Aug 4 read, “in order to ensure the schools’ readiness in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, all educational institutions within E&SED’s jurisdiction shall be opened for administrative and teaching staff to begin preparations for implementation of the approved SOPs for safe schooling of children with effect from 6th of August, 2020.”
It said the provincial cabinet, in its meeting on July 21, had endorsed the July 10 decision of the National Command and Operation Centre to tentatively fix Sept 15 for the re-opening of educational institutions across the country.The notification mentioned several conditions to be followed by schools for campus reopening.
According to it, the government schools at primary level will open with staff strength not exceeding five, while the government schools at middle level will open with staff strength not exceeding seven.
Move meant to make preparations for resumption of classes next month
Similarly, the government schools at secondary and higher secondary level will reopen with staff strength not exceeding 10.
The notification said a private school not imparting online education would be allowed to resume classes with the number of staff members, including teachers, not exceeding 10.
Moreover, private schools, which are imparting online education, will be allowed to open with the number of staffers including teachers not exceeding 30 per cent of total staff strength.
The staff members will be required to observe all laid down standard operating procedures issued by the government.
“Any violation of SOPs may result in the immediate closure of schools and/or punitive action against delinquent staff members,” the department said.
The department said it had developed SOPs for government as well as private schools for safe schooling and would notify them later.
After the outbreak of novel coronavirus, the government had initially issued order for the closure of all educational institutions on Mar 13 for a week. Later, the closure of educational institutions was extended from time to time and finally, the NCOC set the tentative date of Sept 15 for the reopening of schools, colleges and universities.
Some of the leading private schools have already informed students that for the implementation of SOPs, they would divide students of a class in two groups, which were to come to school on alternate days.
Also, these schools have declared that the body temperature of all students would be check through thermal guns at entrance and if anyone was found to be running temperature, he or she would be returned along with siblings enrolled in the same campus.
They have asked parents to ensure that the children wear face masks as students without masks won’t be allowed to enter the campus as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.
Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2020