ISLAMABAD: The education ministers of the country will decide the date of winter vacations and implementation of political map in educational institutions on Tuesday (today).

According to a notification issued by the education ministry, the 34th meeting of Inter Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) will be held on Tuesday to discuss several things including vaccination of children between the age group of 12 to 18 and shifting of winter vacations to January 2022.

An official of the ministry said that the government wanted to defer the winter vacation till January so that ongoing vaccination drives could be completed. However, he said that the final decision will be taken up by education ministers.

It is relevant to note here that the Sindh government has already announced winter vacations in educational institutions from Dec 20 to Jan 3. Participants of the said meeting will also discuss full enforcement of political map in provincial educational setup.

Educational institutions have already been teaching using the new political map of the country, which was introduced by the federal government, a couple of years ago.

“But, the ministers will discuss if the political map is completely enforced in all provincial educational setups”, the officer said.

The government had on Aug 4 last year unveiled the country’s new political map, essentially asserting its longstanding position on the Kashmir and Sir Creek disputes.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, while introducing the map at a ceremony had pointed out that it reflected the national aspiration and supported principled stance on the Kashmir dispute.

The new map was made public a day before Pakistan observed the first anniversary of annexation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). India annexed the held territory on Aug 5, 2019 by revoking articles 370 and 35A of its constitution, which had provided special status to occupied Kashmir and rights and privileges to Kashmiris.

The prime minister had pointed out that it would now be the official map after being approved by the federal cabinet and would be the one used in schools and colleges.

The map clearly identifies occupied Kashmir as a disputed territory and states that the final status will be decided in line with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The map rejects illegal steps taken by India, PM Khan said, adding that the federal cabinet and the country’s political leadership had supported it.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2021

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