Saeed Ghani opposes decision to close educational institutions for a month
Says schools with 73% enrolment rate at primary level be closed; calls for giving easy-term loans to small schools
Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani opposed on Monday the federal government’s decision to close all educational institutions from November 26 to December 24.
The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) earlier today decided to close all educational institutions for a month and conduct online classes during the time period as the number of Covid-19 case in the country continued to increase.
Minister Ghani, in an NCOC meeting, proposed that students should not be promoted in the next grade without conducting examinations this year.
He suggested that only those educational institutions should be closed that have an enrolment of 73 pc at the primary level, while classes six and above should continue.
Examinations from grade nine to 12 should not be conducted in May and June next year, but the matter should be postponed and a decision on it taken later keeping in view the situation in the future.
He further suggested that all non-teaching activities in educational institutions should be stopped completely for a year.
Ghani demanded that loans should be provided on easy terms through banks to provide financial relief to small private schools, tuition and coaching centres. The interest on these loans should be paid by the federal government.
At today's meeting, the IPEMC allowed schools to call students for a day or two during the week, but said the final policy in this regard will be at the discretion of the provincial education departments. It was also announced that the winter break will be from December 25 to January 10.
Addressing the media after the meeting, the education minister confirmed the development and expressed hope that educational institutions will be able to reopen on January 11, 2021. However, he said that another meeting will be held prior to the reopening date to take a final decision on the matter.
Shafqat added that examinations scheduled for December will be postponed till mid-January. "PhD students and those that require the use of laboratories can enter premises of educational institutes," the education minister said.
Dr Faisal Sultan, the premier's aide on national health services, said entrance exams such as the Medical and Dental College Admission Tests (MDCAT) will be held per schedule with strict enforcement of Covid-19 SOPs.