LAHORE: Punjab Minister for School Education Murad Raas on Sunday announced resumption of classes 9 to 12 from April 19 (today) with 50 per cent students on Monday and the remaining 50pc on Thursday.
He said a staggered approach would be implemented in order to mitigate the virus spread. “Classes 9,10,11,12 will open tomorrow April 19th, 2021 with 50% students on Monday and 50% on Thursday,” the minister tweeted.
He said this in reference to an earlier tweet in which he had announced the resumption of classes for grades 9 to 12 in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Multan, Toba Tek Singh, Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan.
The minister said the remaining districts would follow their regular schedule.
Meanwhile, classes 1 to 8 will remain closed till Eidul Fitr and universities continue to operate online in the Covid-hit districts, while they would continue to function as per routine in the districts with “less than eight per cent (Covid) positivity”.
Moreover, All Pakistan Private Schools Federation President Kashif Mirza condemned the extension in schools closure for classes 1 to 8, and said that instead of keeping the campuses closed the government should impose micro lockdowns. He said 75 million students had already faced an irreparable loss to their education and it was impossible to make up for it due to the lockdown, especially when 25 million children in Pakistan were out of school.
Mirza demanded vaccination for all children and teachers on priority despite schools closure and that the government provide free laptops, internet facilities along with portable devices to students.
He applauded the government’s decision to resume educational activities for grades 9 to 12 across the country after over a month’s gap, but at the same time objected to the phase-wise regime. He asked the government to reopen educational institutions to save students’ academic time from being wasted.
Mr Mirza further demanded the government announce a relief package for teachers.
Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2021