Educational institutions closed to contain pandemic

Published November 26, 2020
Students on their way home after attending school in Peshawar on Wednesday. — INP
Students on their way home after attending school in Peshawar on Wednesday. — INP

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Wednesday notified closure of all educational institutions from Thursday (today) due to second wave of Covid-19 in the light of the decision taken in the inter-provincial education ministers’ conference.

The educational institutions will remain closed from November 26 till January 10, 2021, and would reopen on January 11 if the situation improves.

“Educational institutions will be closed for the students from November 26 to December 24 and thereafter for winter vacations,” reads the notification issued by the elementary and secondary education department. However, it states, from November 26 to December 24, staff will continue to attend educational institutions for providing home-based learning to students.

As Internet facility is not available in most parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the elementary and secondary education department has decided that students will go to school for a little time once a week to learn about assignments to be done at home during the pandemic-induced restriction on in-person classes.

If Internet facility is available with the schools and their students, then this home-based learning may be facilitated through online lessons.

Online classes will be held till start of winter vacations on Dec 24

Public and private schools, academies, seminaries and other educational institutions, which do not have the facility of online classes, are authorised to call in students in such a way that students of one grade are called for attendance for only one day in a week and that too as per staggered schedule for giving homework, assignments, distributing learning material and providing teaching assistance feedback guidance to the students to facilitate and augment their home-based learning, according to the notification.

It states that these activities, as far as possible and subject to weather conditions, should preferably be conducted in the open or in the verandas of the educational institutions or in well-ventilated rooms.

Sources in education department said that during the first wave of Covid-19 when all educational institutions were closed for over six months in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, online classes weren’t held in all government and most private schools owing to poor or no accessibility to Internet and prolonged power outages.

The management of the educational institutions will ensure strict adherence to the already issued Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the staff, students and all those, who work or are present in any capacity in the building.

According to the notification, all internal school examinations planned to be held in December will now be rescheduled in January after vacations. However, all teacher training programmes/recruitments will continue as per schedule subject to strict adherence to SOPs.

A separate notification issued by the higher education department states that in the light of the concerns about the second wave of coronavirus, government has directed closure of all academic institutions from November 26 till December 24.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2020

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