With the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation worsening in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) the provincial government of Sindh has proposed a temporary ban on the movement of people to contain the pandemic.
"The pandemic situation in Sindh is not as bad as in Punjab and K-P, however, thousands of people commute across the country daily becoming carriers of the virus, therefore we suggest to ban interprovincial transport for few days," said Sindh Education and Health Minister Saeed Ghani, on Monday.
"We have not taken any immediate decision as yet, but there is a proposal to temporarily stop interprovincial movement of people," he said addressing a press conference at the Committee Room of the Sindh Assembly. The minister was flanked by Sindh Education Secretary Ahmed Bux Narejo.
Regarding the closure of schools, Ghani said that the decision pertaining to suspending in-classroom teaching for students till eighth grade across the province has been taken with a majority vote of the steering committee and the opinions of the task force of the Sindh government.
Therefore, all the stakeholders are mandated to comply with it.
The provincial minister reiterated that examinations could be delayed, but would be held definitely. "Students will not be promoted to next classes without examinations. Following such a practice for two years in a row would ruin the education system," Ghani said.
The minister added that the several channels in their broadcasts, since the past two days, are suggesting as if the suspension of the academic activities till class eight was decided against the wishes of the members of the steering committee on education.
On the contrary, Ghani said, he had suggested consulting the steering committee when the Sindh task force decided to close the educational institutions and called a meeting two days ago.
The majority of the attendees supported the closure of educational institutions, few supported closure till Grade VIII while few did not support the closure of educational institutions. "There is no steering committee on education in any other provinces nor do their governments make such decision pertaining to educational institutions with such broad-based consultation."
He said: "presently the rate of coronavirus infection is 2.7 percent, and we cannot wait for it to reach 10 percent."
In an answer to a question, the minister said that unfortunately a few Sindh assembly opposition leaders have turned into mentally ill patients during their stay in prisons, and they are unaware that the decisions and notifications being issued by us are in the light of NCOC decisions and is under the chairmanship of the federal minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2021.
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