The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has endorsed the Ministry of Education’s decision to reopen universities and primary schools from 1 February.
The secondary schools and colleges had resumed classes since 18 January following a decision by the inter-provincial meeting of the education ministers two weeks ago. However, it was decided that instead of 25 January, the middle and primary schools would be reopened from February 1 along with the universities.
The NCOC approved the decision in a meeting on Wednesday, allowing only 50 percent of students to attend classes in a day in four major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Hyderabad, where the coronavirus infection rates are high.
The forum has decided to reopen the education sector with the issuance of a directive for alternate classes three days a week.
There has been an ongoing outcry on social media since the Federal Minister for Education and Professional Trainings, Shafqat Mahmood, announced the reopening of education institutions in a phased manner earlier this month. The majority of students had wanted him to prolong the winter vacations as the virus is still wreaking havoc in many areas of the country.
The minister maintained that the government is closely monitoring the pandemic situation across the country and that the educational institutes that are located in coronavirus hotspots would be closed again.
The Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar, has affirmed that the government is launching a system for vaccinations. He said,
Hundreds of vaccination centres in the country will be administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Inshallah, the vaccination of front line health workers will start next week.
Following his statement, Sindh has also established vaccine centers, nine of which are in Karachi, and the others are in Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Mirpurkhas divisions.