ISLAMABAD (REPORTBEAT): Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday announced that the educational institutions will remain closed in nine districts of Punjab and in Islamabad until April 11 amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.
The minister made the remarks while speaking to the media following the meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), held to review the situation.
Talking to media persons after a meeting of National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), he emphasized that that closure is for all form of educational institutions including universities as well as academies.
The announcement is for Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sargodha, and Sheikhupura. The remaining districts will be open on previous schedule.
The minister further said that all institutions in Islamabad will also remain close as coronavirus situation in the federal capital is also worrisome.
Shafqat Mehmood further said that the exams of all educational boards will be held in late May as per the schedule and a meeting will also be held with Cambridge to discuss its exams and an announcement in this regard will be made soon.
He warned that any educational institution found violating the government orders will be sealed.
Shafqat Mehmood said that the coronavirus situation is very serious in certain districts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir. However, the intensity of the virus is relatively less in Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan.
The education minister recalled that earlier the educational institutions were closed from 15th to 28th March in some districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as the federal capital in the light of spike in Covid-19 cases.
Shafqat Mehmood said they are cognizant of the fact that the closure of educational institutions is affecting the education of children. However, he said the health of children is our priority.
The Minister said that the next meeting of the education and health ministers will be held on the 7th of next month to review the whole situation and then take the decision accordingly.
On the other hand, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani has said that all educational institutions in the province will remain open under strict coronavirus related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The education minister said that schools can remain open with only 50 percent attendance and if a coronavirus case is found in a school, only that institution will be sealed. He further announced that all examinations will be held as per the schedule.
He added that all private and public schools will follow government orders and warned that a strict action will be taken against institutions as well as individuals found violating the official guidelines.