Schedule for reopening schools in Punjab issued

Updated 14 Sep 2020

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The health authorities have issued SOPs for the school managements, faculty and students to be followed during the classes. — AFP
The health authorities have issued SOPs for the school managements, faculty and students to be followed during the classes. — AFP

LAHORE: The Punjab School Education Department (SED) on Sunday issued the schedule and academic timetable to be observed in all public as well as private schools of the province when these institutions will reopen on September 15.

Earlier, the government had announced that all the public and private schools would reopen in three phases. In the first phase, students of grade 9 to 12 will start attending their schools on Sept 15, in the second phase grade 6-8 classes will resume on Sept 23 after a review of the Covid-19 situation and the primary sections will be reopened on Sept 30.

According to an SED notification, the chief executive officers (CEO) of the District Education Authorities (DEAs) will ensure implementation of the schedule and the academic timetable in Punjab, along with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) , in the schools.

The SED has also reduced the school syllabi by 40 per cent to be covered in the formative and summative assessments as the 2020-21 academic session 2020-21 is reduced to almost half as compared to the normal academic calendar, because of the pandemic.

The CEOs, in consultation with the Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development (QAED), are required to devise grade-specific customised framework of action in line with guidelines issued, inclusive of reduced syllabi for current academic session, the notification says.

All public and private schools will divide the students into two equal groups (class- wise) i.e. Group-A and B and concerned monitoring officers will be updated accordingly about it.

The district education officer (DEO) concerned will keep compiled data for inspection of monitoring committees (constituted earlier regarding Covid-19).

The first group -- Group-A-- will attend school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays every week as per the schedule, while the second, Group-B, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The timetable will be observed for both groups with prescribed study hours during a day.

However, the private educational institutions are given liberty to manage their own calendar by observing the SOPs.

Meanwhile, Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) has said there was no requirement for the students and teachers to bring reports of their coronavirus test ahead of the reopening of educational institutes.

The educational institutions in Punjab were closed in March to curb the spread of Covid-19. However, the government decided to reopen these institutes from September 15 after a steady decline was recorded in virus cases all over the country during the past few weeks.

The health authorities have issued SOPs for the school managements, faculty and students to be followed during the classes.

P&SHD Secretary retired Capt Muhammad Usman said the government did not lay down any prerequisites for teachers and students to bring their coronavirus test reports.

He said the government would conduct the tests randomly in the educational institutes in the districts which had been marked as “high risk” for the coronavirus after academic activities were resumed. A comprehensive strategy had already been devised for conducting the tests in the schools, colleges, and universities.

The secretary said no educational institute had the authority to ask for coronavirus test reports of the teachers or students.

Parents, teachers and students may call 1033 helpline for details about coronavirus symptoms and other information.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2020