Major private school associations of Sindh, including the Trust Schools Association, All Private Schools Management Association Sindh, Peak Private Schools Association, and All Private Schools and Colleges Associations have welcomed the stance of the steering committee of the provincial education department regarding the winter vacations this year.
The steering committee on Saturday said that Sindh did not want winter vacations to be observed this year. However, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that a national decision on the matter would ultimately be taken tomorrow (November 23) when representatives of all provinces are to meet and debate the issue.
In a joint statement issued on Saturday, the private school associations said that the members of the National Command Operation Centre, the federal education minister and other relevant officials had admitted that educational institutions were not a major cause of the coronavirus spread.
They added that the educational institutes were strictly following the standard operating procedures (SOPs). They were of the view that prolonging winter vacations was unacceptable when the government was trying to provide compensation to other sectors.
They said if the government announced a complete lockdown, then educational institutions would also follow the government decision.
The statement reads that after the seven-month closure of the educational institutions, educators were trying hard to overcome their losses and some schools had planned midterm exams. Hence, if the government announced the closure of schools, all such efforts made by the educators would go in vain.
The associations said that many parents were also unable to pay fees and in some cases, they were not willing to pay because they were anticipating closure of the schools. They warned that in case of the closure of schools, the private sector of education would face a new phase of financial crunch.
They lamented that in the aftermath of the earlier lockdown, hundreds of private school owners were forced to shut down their schools permanently while none of the authorities compensated those school owners and administrators.
The associations claimed that the parents were satisfied with the measures taken by the private schools to implement the SOPs. The statement read that if the government was not satisfied with those measures, it should come forward and provide resources to the private schools so that all the staffers and students could be tested for coronavirus.