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‘Second phase to reopen schools postponed by Sindh govt’

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to postpone the second phase to reopen schools for the resumption of academic sessions of Class 6 to 8 (Secondary Section) from September 21, ARY News reported on Friday.

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani announced that the academic sessions of Class 6 to 8 will not be resumed in schools across the province as negligence was seen in many educational institutions in the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) against coronavirus pandemic.

He, however, said that the decision to postpone schools’ reopening for the secondary student was made for only one week. Ghani added that the provincial authorities will permit schools to resume secondary-level classes from September 28 if the situation remains better.

Read: 13 more educational institutes closed for failing to implement coronavirus SOPs

Saeed Ghani told journalists in a press conference that more than reports of 14,544 COVID-19 tests have been released and the current rate of positive cases stands at 2.4 per cent.

He said that hundreds of employees have not undergone COVID-19 screening tests, whereas, the flaws in the implementation of SOPs in schools were worrisome. He reiterated that it was the most difficult decision to reopen schools after the decline in coronavirus cases as children could not adopt precautionary measures properly as compared to the elder ones.

“Unfortunately, some of the schools have not followed the guidelines issued by the government. Neither the students were seen wearing masks nor social distancing was maintained. I have seen security guards in some schools who were not wearing face masks.”

Read: ‘Decision for reopening schools to be reviewed if COVID cases spike again’

“Some private schools have taken reasonable steps [in accordance with the SOPs] while some schools resumed classes of children in violation of the guidelines. We have sealed the schools over the violations.”

Ghani said that schools, colleges and universities had been reopened from September 15 during the first phase and he paid visits to educational institutions in different areas during the consecutive four days.

Read: 13,000 teaching, non-teaching staff tested for Covid-19 in Sindh

“Earlier, we had been assured by trader associations for strictly following the SOPs, however, all business activities were gradually resumed without the implementation of health safety guidelines. By the grace of Allah Almighty, the coronavirus cases and mortalities are reduced.”

“However, the Sindh government will never compromise on the health safety of children as the virus will further spread if any student is infected with COVID-19. If the situation remains better, the schools will be granted permission for resuming classes of secondary students.”

The education minister said that the provincial government will make the final decision to go to the next phase of reopening schools.



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