Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani on Sunday said that the ministry has decided to suspend physical classes for grades one till eight in all public and private schools for 15 days starting April 6, in view of the rising incidence of Covid-19 cases in the province.
The minister added, however, that schools would be able to continue delivering online classes, or keep the students engaged through homework and other means.
Soon after the announcement, Ghani also tweeted a notification issued by the provincial school education and literacy department, confirming the same.
The announcement comes hours after federal education minister, Shafqat Mahmood, had tweeted that "Education and Health Ministers will meet at the NCOC Tuesday to decide whether to open or further close educational institutions."
"Whatever is decided will be a collective decision of the country’s health and education authorities & NCOC," he added.
On March 24, Ghani had said that all educational institutions across the province will remain open as usual. "At present, the situation of coronavirus in Sindh is under control but if SOPs are not implemented, problems may arise,” he had warned.
The education minister had said it was agreed in the NCOC meeting that no student would be promoted to any level without examinations this year.
Earlier on February 28, Ghani had announced that schools would only be allowed to call 50 per cent of students at a time in line with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid down by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.
"Until it (Covid-19) is completely eradicated, educational institutions will continue to follow SOPs and allow only 50pc of [students] in a day," he had said.
Pakistan is currently battling the third wave of the coronavirus, with more than 4,700 daily Covid-19 cases confirmed on Saturday.
NCOC chief Asad Umar warned on Sunday that there were currently 3,568 Covid-19 patients in critical care across Pakistan — the highest number ever.