Workers clean a classroom of a government school in Peshawar on Monday. — White Star
Workers clean a classroom of a government school in Peshawar on Monday. — White Star

PESHAWAR/LAKKI MARWAT: Educational institutions will reopen across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from today (Tuesday) after remaining closed for around six months due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The students of both public and private sector colleges and universities and the schoolchildren enrolled in ninth and 10th grades will resume academic activities today (Tuesday).

However, sixth, seventh and eighth graders will return to school on Sept 23 and those in nursery to fifth grade on Sept 30.

The elementary and secondary education department has already issued standard operating procedures for educational institutions making the use of face masks and washing of hands mandatory for staff members and students on campus to prevent coronavirus.

The schools will not hold morning assembly and will prevent student gatherings during recess and act against SOP violators.

The officials said the education and health departments would jointly carry out around 3,000 random Covid-19 testing on campuses daily and if the virus incidence increased, the exercise would continue.

The national health services ministry has issued guidelines to the provincial governments to prevent Covid-19 transmission.

Under guidelines, a class will be closed for the minimum five days in case of the detection of a confirmed Covid-19 case, while the entire school will stay closed for the minimum five days if more than one case emerges.

The education department has instructed schools to ensure the campus cleaning on a daily basis with proper waste management practices and arrange orientation of students and parents on new school protocols, including school opening and closing time.

The schools were told to limit the number of visitors and make arrangements to handle their matters at entrance and allow them to go to the head teacher or relevant office under extreme situations.

PANEL FORMED: The male education department in Lakki Marwat district has constituted a four-member committee to ensure the implementation of Covid-19 SOPs in public sector schools.

An official told Dawn that the committee headed by DEO Mohammad Ilyas Khattak and comprising Lakki SDEO Qadir Shah, Naurang SDEO Abdul Rehman Rashid and principal Sher Nawaz would start visiting government high and higher secondary schools from today (Tuesday).

He said the school heads were told to ensure students and staff members wear masks and hand sanitisers are available to them on campus.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2020