The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has declared that Saturdays will not be off once classes resume from January 18. This was stated in a notification issued by the directorate on Tuesday in wake up of the lag created in students’ academic development due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
It was decided that there will be seven periods on each day while Saturday has been revoked as a holiday and school timings have been revised from 8:30am till 1:30pm.
Furthermore, all educational institutions have been directed to keep the cafeteria and entrance gates shut during school hours while usage of masks, sanitisers, and temperature checking at the entrance have been termed mandatory.
At the end of the school day, the building and buses would be sprayed with disinfectants regularly while the cleanliness of washrooms would be ensured and every institution must have adequate soaps in the washrooms.
However, the teachers lamented about the back-to-back classes without breaks and have demanded the related authorities to review the decision. They lamented that for lunch breaks, students are required to remain seated in their classrooms and teachers are meant to supervise them at all times.
The notification was issued to all the heads and owners of educational institutions. It further read that schools that operate on single shifts will remain open from Monday to Saturday and start the day from 8:30am till 1:30pm while on Fridays the school will end on 12:30pm.
On the other hand, schools operating on double shifts will commence the second shift at 1:45pm and end at 6:45 pm. The parents with children in the second shift lamented that their children will have to come back so late in the evening, especially when temperature levels are so low.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2021.