Primary schools reopen on Wednesday under COVID-19 protocols after 6-month hiatus

Primary schools to resume classes on Wednesday

ISLAMABAD, Sep 29 (APP):The primary schools (Grade 1-5) will formally reopen across the country on Wednesday under strict COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) after 6-month hiatus.

The decision was taken unanimously on Tuesday at an important meeting of National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) under Phase-III in the light of available data regarding coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing the press conference, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan announced to reopen the primary level schools (Grade 1-5) from September 30 under strict SOPs
by the schools administration.

Since the re-opening up of educational institutions from September 15, a total of 1,71,436 students, teachers and administrative staff had been tested for COVID-19 across the country, out of which only 1284 were tested positive with the ratio of 0.8 percent, he added.

He said : “The decision has been taken keeping in view the current situation regarding the pandemic which is under control.”

Shafqat said it was a matter of three million children studying at the primary level, therefore, thorough and introspective analysis of the data and deliberations was carried out to take the final decision.

“I wanted to satisfy the parents that the government has taken this decision after reviewing the situation. The provincial education ministers, and concerned officials were strictly monitoring the implementation on SOPs in schools”, he added.

He said that several educational institutions had been closed down for not complying with the SOPs and safety guidelines, adding this practice would continue in the primary schools as well.

He lauded the role of teachers, parents and concerned officials for making it possible while strictly adhering to the SOPs during the last fifteen days.

“It was a collective effort which is laudable,” he said said while congratulating the parents, teachers and administrative staff.

He hoped that the parents and teachers will make their all out efforts to take care of the students of early classes.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan asked the schools administrations to ensure safety measures to ensure safety of primary class students.

Addressing a media briefing at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Dr Faisal said that convincing small age group school children to follow Corona SOPS was not an easy task and asked schools administrations and teachers to take this responsibility on start of primary sections from Wednesday.

He asked the parents to regularly observe their school going children and in case of any symptoms, avoid sending them to school while teachers should also observe health of children on daily basis and contact to parents in case of any symptoms.

He said that there should be proper arrangements for having sufficient gap in primary class children seating, keeping in mind the appropriate class density.

He said that schools administrations should also monitor the SOPs related with the protection of school children from Corona after start of primary classes.

He made it clear that all schools have to strictly follow these SOPs announced by the government like social distancing, hand sanitizing or washing, wearing of face mask etc. Besides school administration, the role of parents was also crucial to ensure implementation of SOPs, he added.

Dr Faisal said “Schools administration, teachers and parents will have to adhere to the instructions after reopening of institutions.” He said that students with low immunity level should be spared from school.

He said that due to immediate closure of schools, a large number of population particularly students were now safe and remained protected from COVID-19.

He added the government has adopted effective strategy to combat COVID-19 that resulted reduction in corona cases in the country.

Dr Faisal said that present facts and figure of the disease showed a declining trend of Coronavirus at all levels due to prompt response of the government.

Expressing satisfaction over current COVID-19 situation, he said that all this was made possible due to team efforts and with the support of district and school administrations.