ISLAMABAD: The closure of educational institutions in the federal capital has been extended till June 6 and the government has decided to vaccinate the teachers on a priority basis.

Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), which supervises 423 schools and colleges, and the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira) on Thursday decided that educational institutions will remain closed until June 6 and reopen on June 7.

Earlier, Islamabad-based educational institutions were supposed to reopen on May 24.

FDE Director General Dr Ikram Ali Malik told Dawn that a notification for reopening of schools from June 7 had been issued. He said Islamabad falls in those areas where the Covid-19 positivity rate was over five per cent. Therefore, educational institutions in the capital will remain closed until June 7.

He said four days prior to the reopening, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) will hold a review meeting (on June 3) to assess the situation.

Teachers will be vaccinated on priority before reopening of schools on June 7, says ministry

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Peira, Zafar Yousafzai, said private schools and colleges will remain closed until June 6, adding June 7 will be a working day.

“Reopening of educational institutions is extended from 24-05-2021 to 07-06-2021 due to high positivity ratio of Covid-19 positive cases in Islamabad which is more than six at this point of time according to District Health Office.

“Therefore, all educational institutions working under the ambit of FDE shall now remain closed until 06-06-2021 under already issued guidelines. Staggered opening with effect from 07-06-2021 shall be allowed subject to endorsement of the same in review meeting scheduled to be held at NCOC on 03-06-2021,” stated a notification issued by the FDE.

Meanwhile, the federal government has decided to vaccinate teachers on a priority basis. “The government has decided to give priority to teachers in vaccination. The target is that all teachers especially those conducting exams should have complete vaccination,” Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood tweeted on Thursday.

While a press release issued by the ministry said the government had decided to vaccinate teachers on a fast track.

“This decision has been taken in consultation with NCOC to ensure elimination of disruption in education sector and reduce learning losses.

“It will also be mandatory for the examination and invigilation staff in the coming board exams to get themselves vaccinated before the commencement of examination,” the press release said.

It added that the ministry of education was approaching NCOC to assist respective provincial and area governments for speedy vaccination of teaching and support staff.

“Necessary letters have been written to all chief secretaries for swift implementation. The intended deadline to get the education sector vaccinated as per government laid down policy is 5th June,” it said.

The education minister through another tweet said: “NCOC has allowed holding of professional exams/tests etc. Please apply to secretary Federal Ministry of Education, Islamabad with details of exam centres, number of students and SOPs to be followed. If all arrangements are satisfactory permission will be given promptly,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2021

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