Following the federal government’s announcement to extend the closure of educational institutes in the COVID-19 hotspot areas, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has clarified that all universities shall continue to operate as per guidelines issued earlier except for those located in high-risk areas.
The Commission, in a statement, said that the institutes located in high-risk areas mentioned by the provincial governments would remain close for physical appearance till April 11, 2021. However, the academic sessions will continue online during the period.
The HEC also said that the ongoing and pre-scheduled exams could be conducted online with strict adherence to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The higher education body urged universities, where the academic activities are underway, to ensure strict observance of the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, such as thermal scanning, wearing facemasks, social distancing, availability, and use of sanitizers, and disinfection of buildings.
Further, varsities have been advised to contact the Chair or the provincial/regional members of the COVID-19 Oversight Committee or email at [email protected] for further guidance if and when required.
It may be recalled that the federal government had announced on Wednesday that the educational institutes in COVID-19 hotspot areas, including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sargodha, and Sheikhupura in Punjab, Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi, Kohat, Malakand, Swat, Lower Dir, Nowshera, Buner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and all academic institutes in Islamabad, will remain closed till April 11, 2021.