PESHAWAR: Private school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have rejected the federal government’s decision to close educational institutions in the whole country from November 26 till January 10 due to coronavirus fears.
KP Private Schools Network Association Anas Takreem said in an interview that the government has made a political issue out of coronavirus and it has nothing to do with protecting people. He said the children’s education already suffered a lot due to previous lockdown and now the new closure announcement is further dent the education and precious time of students will be wasted. He said that during the six-month closure, the school managements were unable to pay rents of school buildings, salaries of staff, taxes, and other expenses. Many private schools were permanently closed during the lockdown, while the schools that survived also faced massive financial crisis. The number of registered private schools has reduced from 8,600 to 4,000 after the lockdown.
Anas Takreem insisted that the private educational institutions were fully implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) against coronavirus, but the government was adamant on closure of schools. He said 2.4 million children are enrolled in private schools and 124,000 teachers are employed to teach them. He said the government must reconsider its decision to close schools, otherwise all educational institutes across the country will be left with no other option, but to protest.
According to the major decisions of the inter-provincial education ministers on Monday, all educational institutes in Pakistan will remain closed from November 26 till January 1.
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood said while addressing a press conference at the National Operations and Command Center (NCOC) along with SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan on Monday that the meeting analysed the coronavirus situation in all provinces and decided that all students will start studying from home from November 26 and will continue till December 24. Winter holidays will be observed from December 25 to January 10, 2021. From January 11, schools will resume activities after re-evaluation of the situation in the first week of January. Professional exams including MDCAT 2020 to be held as per schedule and education board exams to be pushed to June.