Capital schools, colleges to remain open on Saturdays

Updated 05 Sep 2020

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The 423 schools and colleges will not observe the winter vacation to cover the losses of students, who could not attend classes since March 15. — Photo by Mirza Khurram Shehzad/File
The 423 schools and colleges will not observe the winter vacation to cover the losses of students, who could not attend classes since March 15. — Photo by Mirza Khurram Shehzad/File

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has decided that Saturday will be a working day for educational institutions until the exams while classes will be held in place of winter vacation to compensate students for the loss of time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision taken on the directive of the education ministry will be implemented once schools and colleges reopen, likely from Sept 15.

The 423 schools and colleges will not observe the winter vacation to cover the losses of students, who could not attend classes since March 15.

Besides, the educational boards of the country through the Inter-Board Committee Chairmen (IBCC) have also been directed to defer their annual exams from two to three weeks.

Officials in the education ministry said the directives will help the students and teachers compensate for the two and half months of their academic loss.

They said all schools and colleges in Islamabad will implement the decision regarding opening of institutions on Saturday while the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) will reschedule their exams for two to three weeks.

The officials said Islamabad’s educational institutions and FBISE were attached departments of the ministry so they will implement the decision. Through the IBCC other boards have been requested to delay their exams at least for two weeks.

The officials said provincial authorities will decide about the Saturday’s opening on their own and the matter will likely be taken up in the upcoming Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEMC) on Sept 7 to take any decision on the opening of institutions from Sept 15.

The officials said on Friday the ministry also sent a policy directive to the FDE.

The directive stated: “In accordance with likelihood of reopening of educational institutions by Sept 15 (subject to decision by the forum of IPEMC on Sept 7) all heads of educational institutions are advised to plan and design strategies for optimal academic management to ensure the learning losses of students are minimised and students are not only able to cope with the academic pressure in reduced timelines but are also able to meet the expected standards.”

The letter said there would be remedial classes in the winter vacations (except public holidays) in the current academic session 2020-21 with Saturday may be used as a working day for all educational institutions in Islamabad.

The letter said the assessment of the students after reopening of the educational institutions would be used as a benchmark to design courses in place of teaching learning plans.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2020