Resumption of Classes for Secondary School Students Has Been Delayed By a Week As the Number of Cases Keeps Increasing

On Friday, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani made the announcement in a press conference briefing about the ongoing situation concerning the reopening of educational institutions in the province amid coronavirus threats that the classes for secondary school students from class sixth to eighth will not be resumed from Monday as was scheduled earlier. 

He addressed the press conference saying that the government realizes the loss students have to endure due to the closure of educational institutions but to compensate for this loss of learning, students’ health cannot be kept at stake.  

He stated that despite the efforts the Sindh government is putting into making things get back to normal, there are still a lot of flaws and violations of the set standards, therefore the second phase of resumption of classes from 6 to 8 is being delayed by a week. 

Ghani described the classes that scheduled before to be reopened from 21 September will now stay closed till 28 September and then if the situation improves, they will open. However, the decision will be looked into once again on 28 September if the situation remains the same. 

Schools in Sindh, like in other provinces, were scheduled to reopen in phases this month after staying shut for six months, starting from March, due to the global pandemic. Classes 9 and above and universities were to open from 15 September, in the first phase. In the second phase, classes from 6 to 8 were to resume from 21 September. While in the third phase, primary and pre-primary classes were scheduled to open from 28 September. 

Restarting educational institutions in phases was about not sending all students back to school at once and that a smaller number of students were present in the school at a time, and that we will be able to have a practical experience of the effectiveness of SOPs and their implementation by the institutions, said Ghani. 

But during his surprise visits to various areas of Karachi, he said he witnessed the health guidelines and government rules concerning the resumption of classes were being violated. 

He said while some private schools managed to keep up to the standard operating procedures and health guidelines, there were some government schools and colleges which failed to do so. However, in these government schools only grade nine students were allowed whereas in some private schools classes for children as young as the ones in grade one were also resumed, and that no SOPs were applied on them and thus they were sealed on Thursday, said the Education Minister Sindh.

He further said these were the violations that he witnessed himself when only older students were allowed to go to schools and colleges, fearing that the situation can be terrible if all the students return to schools by the end of the month.