Reconsider opening schools in Pakistan: Murtaza Wahab tells government

Reconsider opening schools in Pakistan: Murtaza Wahab tells government

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab doesn’t want schools to reopen.

Schools across Pakistan will reopen from September 15, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had said last week.

In Sindh, Education Minister Saeed Ghani had said schools will reopen in phases between September 15 and 30 starting from universities and classes nine and 10.

From September 22, classes six to eight will resume sessions and last, primary classes will begin from September 30. Ghani said that if the number of coronavirus cases in any area spikes, the educational institutions in that area will be closed down.

Wahab has requested the Sindh and federal governments to reconsider its decision to reopen schools.

He has put forward his concerns as a parent. He tweeted that the situation is still uncertain and children may not be able to follow the standard operating procedures.

Infectious disease experts and doctors, however, are supporting the reopening of schools saying that the coronavirus in children in Pakistan has been relatively mild compared to adult patients.

Most children developed a mild form of the disease and are not believed to be major drivers of the virus spread, according to them. Doctors now support the reopening of educational institutes with strict adherence to SOPs.

It has also been decided that Pakistan’s educational institutions will remain open on Saturdays and will have no winter vacations this year, according to a notification issued by the federal education ministry.

SOPs for schools
Wearing masks, practicing social distancing and using sanitiser has been made compulsory for all students, teachers and staff members. Students with a flu or cough will not be allowed on campus.

Failure to comply with the SOPs will result in fines for the schools.

Earlier, the federal government had issued a SOPs that schools will have to follow. These include:

First secondary classes will start first after which primary classes will begin
The number of students in a class will be reduced, which means that half of the students will attend the session one day and the other half on the other day
Students will have to wear face masks at all times. Dr Sultan said that it’s better if the masks are made at home
Social distancing and washing hands should be strictly implemented
Sanitisers should be installed in schools and students should be encouraged to use them repeatedly
Every student attending school in-person will have to get tested for coronavirus in two weeks
Students with lower immunity levels should not be sent to school
Students will have lunch inside class during breaks

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