PESHAWAR: The owners of private educational institutions in Khyber, Kurram and Mardan have rejected the government announcement of reopening of schools on July 15.

The office holders of Private Schools Association Bara said while addressing a press conference at Bara Press Club that they reject the announcement of the government regarding opening of schools on July 15 and demand opening of the schools under the standard operating procedures (SOPs) from June 01. They questioned why schools are still closed at a time when other institutions and businesses are open.

The office holders said the precious time of the students is being wasted and more people are being pushed into poverty as they have been deprived of their source of income. They also smelled conspiracy in the closure of schools as they said schools are open even in worst hit countries, but these are closed in Pakistan.

The representatives of private schools also held a protest outside the press club after the press conference.

A protest demonstration was also held in Mardan by the representatives of private educational institutions. They announced opening of schools from June 01 and demanded the prime minister to establish an education relief fund. The protesters also blocked the road outside the press club.

The representatives of Hub of Private Education (HOPE) gathered outside Mardan Press Club and staged a massive protest in favour of their demands. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands.

The protesters said their schools are already on ventilator after the coronavirus lockdown and thousands of teachers of private schools have lost their jobs. They said they are finding it difficult to pay bills and salaries in the given situation.

Similar demand was made by private schools owners and teachers in Kurram tribal district.

They said at a press conference at Parachinar Press Club that there were extended winter vacations and then schools were closed due to lockdown and as a whole the schools observed holidays for five months. They said continuous closure of schools is ruining the future of students. They demanded reopening of schools without any further delay.