PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Monday announced closure of schools in six more districts owing to increasing number of coronavirus cases across the province.

Two merged tribal districts are also included in the areas where schools have been closed. Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Shahram Khan Tarakai said in a statement that it was sad to announce that schools in six more districts of KP have been closed due to increase in COVID-19 cases. The districts where schools have been closed include Abbottabad, Haripur, Bajaur, Khyber, Dir Upper and Shangla.

The minister said that schools in 16 districts of KP have already been closed due to recent spike in coronavirus cases during the third wave of the pandemic.

The KP ESED has also issued a notification which says that in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, all public and private primary and elementary educational institutions (primary/middle /high and higher secondary schools) including cadet colleges, model schools, religious seminaries (madrassas), academies and tuition centres shall remain closed for teaching in these six districts till April 11.

“Students will not be called to schools for any reason during this period of closure. However, management and teaching staff are allowed to attend their respective institutions as per requirement determined by the management/principal/headmaster of the educational institution strictly in accordance with SOPs (standard operating procedures) for online teaching or preparation of assignments/homework for delivery to students through postal services. In some extreme cases, parents may be called to school to hand over homework according to set schedule.

On March 24, the federal government decided that educational institutions will remain closed in the selected districts with high coronavirus rate till April 11.

Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had said that keeping in view the increasing and dangerous trend coronavirus cases, the provincial governments will decide about the districts where the educational institutions will remain closed.

After the meeting, Shahram Khan Tarakai said schools will remain closed in Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi, Kohat, Lower Dir, Malakand, Swat, Nowshera and Buner.

However, private educational institutions are not happy over closure and repeatedly demanding opening of schools under SOPs.

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