Educational Institutions to Continue Operating Despite Rising Coronavirus Cases

On Thursday, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training made an important decision regarding educational institutions. They announced that educational activities will not be halted or transferred online despite the rising Covid-19 cases all over the country. 

A conference was held for the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers known as the IPEMC meeting. Shafqat Mehmood, the Federal Minister for Education, presided over it through video link. Provincial education ministers were also a part of the meeting, which was held online. At the end of the meeting, it was decided that educational institutions should continue to operate despite the surge in coronavirus cases. 

The agenda of the meeting included discussions regarding winter vacations in schools, colleges, madrasahs, and universities, along with an update on the current coronavirus situation. The provincial ministers for education were also supposed to talk about moving the academic year to August, as opposed to the usual, which is April. The members also discussed board examinations of grade eight. 

In the meeting, all the attendees were able to unanimously agree that educational institutions should not be shut down in the current situation. However, the conference was not a complete success. The provincial education ministers were unable to come to a joint decision of whether or not the academic year should start from August or April. 

On the other hand, they agreed that winter vacations should be reduced and the school year should be extended. These decisions will be looked at in detail at their next meeting, which will convene in the first week of December, as agreed by the attendees. 

While talking to the media a while before the meeting, Minister Mehmood talked about what makes a good university. In his opinion, it is not the building that identifies a university’s quality, rather the facilities and teachers available in it. 

He went on to add that multiple efforts are being made to ensure that the quality of education is upheld in these trying times. Mehmood stated that shutting down educational institutions has not been fruitful in the earlier months of the pandemic. Thus, he believes that this is not the right time for the closure of schools, colleges, madrasahs, and universities. 

The Federal Minister for Education added that the country would abide by the advice given to them by the Ministry of Health. He concluded that until told otherwise, education would continue as per the norm.