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Coronavirus in Pakistan: Sindh decides against school closure, winter vacations

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A Reuters representational image. 

KARACHI:  Sindh Education and Literacy Department has decided against closing down schools  and winter vacations but allowed administrations to move education activities online.

The development came during a meeting of key stakeholders in the provincial education sector  with Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani in the chair on Saturday. 

Ghani said after the meeting that the Sindh Education Department’s decision represented the province’s position and that a national decision on the matter would ultimately be taken on November 23, when representatives of all provinces are to meet and debate the matter.

Meeting to deliberate safety measures

The provincial education department’s Steering Committee had met here on Saturday to deliberate upon coronavirus safety measures recommended by the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) in view of the surging new cases of COVID-19.

Setting aside the NCOC’s recommendation for calling winter vacations early this year and extending them till January, it was decided by the Steering Committee that coronavirus safety standard operating procedures would instead be implemented strictly in schools to avoid a breakout of the disease among children.

All stakeholders who attended the meeting agreed on not closing schools for the time being or allow winter vacations in the province this year.

The Saturday meeting was attended by the secretary schools, the secretary colleges and the chairmen of various boards of education.

The participants discussed the various challenges put forth by coronavirus and the NCOC’s recommendations regarding the same.

“The federal government wants that children are educated at home from November 25 till December 24, and then vacations are announced from December 25 till January 10,” Ghani said after the meeting.

“During this period, parents will take homework from the schools on a weekly basis.”

“There is no doubt that COVID-19 cases are rising and the positivity rate has gone to 3.7% in the past few days,” Ghani said. 

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