RAWALPINDI: The Punjab School Education Department has asked the District Education Authority (EDA) to extend the current academic session till July 2021 while the new academic year will be from August to March 31, 2022.

Through a notification dated March 1, the department informed the authority about changes to the academic calendar as per the decision of the inter-provincial ministers’ conference held on Feb 26.

The current academic session will last for 16 months while the next academic session will be for eight months only. On the other hand, private schools have completed the academic session and conducted final papers from grade-1 to grade-8.

The provincial government is yet to implement Single National Curriculum (SNC) in schools as publishers stopped printing textbooks in wait of the new syllabus.

Talking to Dawn, District Education Authority Chief Executive Officer Bashir Ahmed said the government extended the current session due to the spread of Covid-19 but it will become normal next year.

He said educational institutions were using smart syllabus formed for Covid-19 while the SNC will be introduced in the next academic session. Last year, schools remained closed throughout the year due to the pandemic.

This year, the duration of summer vacations has been reduced so that the next academic session can be started at the earliest, he said, adding directives had been issued to increase enrollment in government schools.

The school council has become active and in this regard a drive has been launched.

Mr Ahmed said the provincial government has fixed a target of enrolling 100,000 students in schools till March 2022, adding: “We have so far enrolled 9,000 students in government schools.”

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2021

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