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Govt mulling over options to shorten summer vacations: Shafqat Mahmood

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Monday said that he wanted schools to remain open, however, they had to decide against it owing to the second COVID-19 wave in the country, ARY NEWS reported.

“The COVID-19 situation in December may worsen like it was in June this year,” the education minister warned while speaking during ARY NEWS programme, Power Play.

He said that they have planned a once-in-a-week class for homework purposes besides continuous classes via online platforms.

“Today’s meeting sought recommendations from doctors and health department officials,” he said adding that as many as 50 million children go to school in Pakistan and it was decided to go for online classes and winter vacations for the safety of the kids.

He said that they are suggestions for launching the new academic year in schools from August 2021 rather than in April next year.

“We will ensure that the children complete their coursework via online classes,” he said adding that suggestions regarding a delay in examinations are also under consideration including a delay in matric examination.

Shafqat Mahmood, however, rejected any plan this time to promote children to the next classes without holding examinations. “We will hold exams if the COVID-19 situation improves,” he said.

Read More: COVID-19 spike: Govt announces closure of educational institutions from Nov 26

The education minister said that schools would remain open till December 24 and only teachers would be allowed to visit them. “Bringing down summer vacations is also an option under consideration to overcome educational losses,” he said.

He said that options were also being considered to support private schools including disbursing Qarz-e-Hasna loans to schools charging fewer fees besides also facilitating teachers with low salaries.



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