Ministers to take final decision on winter vacations today

Published November 23, 2020
In this September 15 photo,  worker disinfects shoes of a student upon her arrival at a school in Lahore.  — AP
In this September 15 photo, worker disinfects shoes of a student upon her arrival at a school in Lahore. — AP

ISLAMABAD: The country’s education ministers are meeting today (Monday) to take a final decision on extended winter vacation as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise.

The virtual meeting will be chaired by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood.

Sources in the education ministry said decision would be made after reviewing the situation, adding that the federal ministry would plead for announcing extended winter vacation from Nov 24 to Jan 31.

The ministry also suggests teaching students online during the holidays and through Tele-School, e-Taleem and Radio School.

The officials said the meeting would also take up a second option whereby limited number of students would attend schools, adding that under this plan, primary grade students would stop attending school from Nov 24.

Positivity ratio in educational institutions stands at almost 2pc

This step will help cut down a load of 28 million students on institutions.

From Dec 2, middle grade students would also stop attending schools on the basis of the infection rate at that time.

This step will further reduce movement of another six million students.

Finally, from Dec 15, higher and higher secondary school students would also stop attending schools.

The situation under scenario two will be regularly reviewed, the officials said, adding that the National Command and Operation Centre has already urged the education ministers to close schools from Nov 20 to Jan 31.

“Before making any final decision, both proposals will be discussed in detail,” an official said.

Positivity ratio in educational institution through random testing is almost 2pc which is alarming as the students could become a source of spread of the virus in their families.

The meeting will also discuss the ministry’s proposal of extending the academic session till May 31, 2021.

The ministry has suggested fixing the exam date for grade 1-8 from June 1 to 10th and that of Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) in July.

It further proposed to start the new academic session from Sept 2021 instead of April.

Educational institutions had faced a six-month closure from March to September due to Covid-19 and now in the pandemic’s second spell, the ministry officials said the closure had become imminent due to the rising numbers of cases.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2020

Opinion

Zero carbon race
22 Jan 2021

Zero carbon race

Over 100 countries, including Pakistan, have failed to submit their national commitments to cut emissions.
Sports for all
22 Jan 2021

Sports for all

We need a certain level of fitness to observe God’s law.
Normalcy restored
Updated 22 Jan 2021

Normalcy restored

So long as invoking domestic and foreign ‘enemies’ is our ‘normal’, expect our tryst with praetorianism to continue unabated.
The hazards of governance
Updated 21 Jan 2021

The hazards of governance

The most efficient administrations derive their strength from the quality and regularity of intra-department consultation.

Editorial

Updated 22 Jan 2021

Time to heal

A multitude of foreign issues will test Biden’s mettle and require progressive thinking.
22 Jan 2021

Foreign funding

AS the pressure builds on his party in the foreign funding case, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for an ...
22 Jan 2021

Decaying PTV

THE Cabinet Committee on State-Owned Enterprises has decided to remove Pakistan Television from the list of...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...