Thousands of schools and colleges across Pakistan reopened Tuesday (Today), ending a six-month-long closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to the details, as per the directives of the Pakistani Education Ministry, all higher education institutions in the country reopen from September 15, whereas students in grades nine to 12 will also be returning to school on the same day.
Colleges and universities reopening in phases while ensuring compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to avoid the spread of novel coronavirus disease in accordance with the decision of the inter-provincial education ministers’ conference (IPEMC).
Secondary and primary classes will resume later this month.
The government had decided to close schools, colleges, and universities in March in order to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Sindh, however, had suspended educational activities in the province on February 27 after the detection of the first COVID-19 case in Karachi.
Just a day before the reopening of educational institutions, Prime Minister PM Imran Khan also welcome the children back to school.
In a tweet on Monday, PM Imran said that the government has fully worked on the school operation to ensure every child’s safety.
The tweet read: “Tomorrow we welcome millions of children back to school. It is our priority & collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safely to learn. We have worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety rules on COVID-19.”
Tomorrow we will welcome millions of children back to school. It is our priority & collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safely to learn. We have worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety rules on #COVID19
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 14, 2020
On Sept. 7, the country’s Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, while announcing the reopening of some 300,000 schools, colleges, and universities, said they will reopen the education institutions in phases to avoid another wave of the virus.
“If all goes well, then students in grade six to eight will return to school on Sept. 23, while students in the nursery to grade five will be back to school on Sept. 30,” Mahmood said.
Pakistan is among a handful of countries to have witnessed a dramatic drop in the number of daily coronavirus cases, from nearly 7,000 to 200 over the past few months, with fatalities from the novel virus hovering in single digits each day.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) also praised Islamabad and some other countries who managed the coronavirus crisis well and said the world can learn from these countries.
“Pakistan deployed the infrastructure built up over many years for polio to combat COVID-19. Community health workers who have been trained to go door-to-door vaccinating children for polio have been utilized for surveillance, contact tracing and care,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO head said during a briefing.
“There are many other examples we could give, including Cambodia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Vietnam, and more,” Tedros added.
Pakistan has so far recorded 302,424 cases, of which 290,261 have recovered, according to the Health Ministry data.
The number of fatalities from COVID-19 stands at 6,389.