The federal government (NCOC) has decided to extend school closure in COVID high-risk areas till April 28, 2021.
The decision was made at a high-level NCOC meeting on Tuesday, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar. The meeting was attended by all provincial education and health ministers. Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, and other relevant authorities were also present.
The session unanimously decided to keep schools up to class 8th closed in areas where the COVID-19 prevalence rate is higher. However, the schools, even in COVID-19 hotspots, will open for students of class 9th to 12th from April 19, all over the country.
Shafqat Mahmood said that the provincial governments will decide which districts get to close schools due to the high positivity rate. The decision is subject to revision in two weeks with respect to the coronavirus situation.
Meanwhile, the government has also canceled examinations for classes one to eight in COVID-19 high-risk areas. However, the board exams for class 9th to 12th will be conducted following the third week of May.
Mahmood noted that the A and O Level examinations will also go on as planned under strict COVID-19 SOPs. He asked students to continue preparations for exams and not get distracted by cancellation rumors.
On the other hand, Punjab Education Minister, Murad Raas, has announced that all public and private schools for classes one to eight will remain closed until Eid in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Multan, Bhawalpur, Sialkot, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Sheikhupura.
ANNOUNCEMENT No. 1
All Public & Private schools Classes 1-8 to remain closed until Eid in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Multan, Bhawalpur, Sialkot, Sargoda, Faisalabad, TT Singh, RYK, DG Khan and Sheikupura. Decision to be reviewed in 2 weeks.
— Murad Raas (@DrMuradPTI) April 6, 2021
He said that the decision will be reviewed in two weeks with respect to the coronavirus situation.