ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has extended ongoing closure of Islamabad-based schools and colleges until May 23.
According to officials of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, the FDE issued a notification dated May 14 to extend closure of institutions from May 17 to 23.
“Yes, we have extended closure until May 23. Meanwhile, Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting is going to be held on Tuesday to decide the future course of action,” said a senior officer of the education ministry.
Another official said even though a final decision is yet to be taken by IPEMC and NCOC, keeping in view the current situation, it is likely that educational institutions will be allowed to reopen from May 23 under standard operating procedures (SOPs). There has been a decline in the number of Covid-19 cases and students have already faced loss of education, the official said, adding transport service has already resumed.
If there is no major surge in Covid-19 cases, board exams to be held in June, July, official says
If there is no major surge in Covid-19 cases, boards will hold matriculation and intermediate exams in June and July. He also made it clear that there will be no exemption in exams.
The official said that FDE’s notification is applicable only in Islamabad and after the 18th constitutional amendment, provinces are empowered to make their own decisions. On Tuesday, all education ministers will attend the IPEMC to decide what to do next.
“In pursuance of direction received from ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training communicated under the announcement by NCOC referencing Covid-19 situation in the country the date of re-opening of educational institutions is extended from 17 to 23 May, therefore, all educational institutions working under the ambit of FDE now remain closed until May 23,” the notification issued by FDE stated.
It is relevant to note here that besides leaving a negative impact in almost all fields, Covid-19 has also badly disturbed educational activities. In Pakistan, students have been seeing frequent closure and opening of institutions since March last year.
Last year, the government promoted students without exams, however, for this year, education ministers have made it clear that no student would be promoted without exams. The board exams, which were to be held in March-April, have been postponed till June-July, however, final date for commencement of exams is yet to be announced.
Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2021