Mixed reaction over educational institutions’ reopening in KP

Updated 16 Sep 2020

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Temperature of students being checked on arrival at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar, on Tuesday. — White Star
Temperature of students being checked on arrival at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar, on Tuesday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Parents and students had mixed feelings as educational institutions re-opened across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after remaining closed for almost six months due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The universities, colleges and high schools, which were closed in the middle of March, resumed classes after taking strict precautionary measures against coronavirus.

Students in the province’s cold region attended schools after a long winter break of nine months.

The elementary and secondary education department had issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) last month for all government and private schools opening in phases.

The university and college students and schoolchildren in grade nine and 10 resumed classes on Monday.

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

Malaika, a student of 11th standard, said she was happy at the start of classes but she was a bit worried as well as there was a higher risk of getting infected with Covid-19.

Saleem Ahmad Shah said one of his daughters studied in college and the other in school.

“Online classes drove not only children but their parents mad. It was such a relief that schools and colleges would reopen and formal education would start again,” he said.

Amir Iqbal Mohmand, a student of psychology department, visited the University of Peshawar and said he felt like he was stepping into the university for the first time.

“I felt happy and safe after a long break due to pandemic,” he said, adding that staying home and practicing social distancing had depressed him.

The student said he had not received any notification or announcement from the university revealing if the classes would be held on campus or online.

A source told Dawn that the University of Peshawar would hold both online and on-campus classes for different departments.

The university, one of the largest and oldest public sector one in the province, was partially opened on Monday.

The heads of departments meeting decided that face-to-face on-campus classes would take place in 16 departments, where lab-based teaching was necessary.

They also said online classes would be held for third, fifth and seventh semesters of BS programmes on Sept 21.

A spokesperson for the Benazir Bhutto Women University Peshawar said the students were not allowed to enter the campus without face mask, which were available at the main gate, and temperature screening and that they passed through sanitising gates.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020