All educational institutions in Sindh to reopen from September 28. The announcement was made by Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani on Friday.
In Karachi, while addressing a press briefing, the minister said that students of pre-primary, primary, and middle classes could attend schools from Monday.
He said that the decision has been taken in wake of improving the coronavirus situation in the country.
Mr. Ghani also highlighted that it is necessary to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet.
The provincial minister has urged the parents to ensure their children attend schools following all precautionary measures.
“It is advisable that parents should pick and drop children themselves as part of safety practice to curb the spread of coronavirus”, he added.
“We have asked the school administrations to hold classes in phases. They could call half of the students on one day and the others the following day,” he said.
He also emphasized the importance of social distancing and said that schools not following the instructions will be fined or even sealed.
“I will be making surprise visits to both public and private schools to oversee the situation”, he said.
He further added that parents will however have the option of sending the children to school. “If they feel unsafe, then they can continue with the online classes. Nothing comes before the health of our children”, he said.
However, Sindh Health Minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho has warned against reopening schools, despite federal planning minister, Asad Umar, boasting a “stable” positivity ratio and “highest ever” number of tests carried out a day prior.
While speaking to a local news channel, Dr. Pechuho said the coronavirus positivity rate “has increased from 1.5% to 3%” and that it was unwise to reopen schools in the current situation.
The second wave of coronavirus has been predicted in the current situation,” said Dr. Azra Pechuho.
She further added that she has reservations about the reopening of the educational institutes.
“Do not rush to open primary schools! Primary schools must be given at least one to one-and-a-half month to reopen,” warned the Sindh health minister.
“It would be right to send children to school only when the situation [related to the coronavirus pandemic] is clear,” she added.