ISLAMABAD , April 06 : Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced Tuesday that on-campus classes for students till grade 8, in districts affected the most by the coronavirus, will remain closed till April 28.
The minister was addressing a press conference after holding an important meeting at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) attended by all the education and health ministers to decide further on closure or reopening of schools amid the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.
“It has been decided that in districts affected by the coronavirus, physical classes will not be held [in schools of these districts] from grades 1-8 till April 28,” said Mehmood. “It must be borne in mind that not every district has been affected by the coronavirus.”
He said the education minister of Punjab had informed him that 13 districts across the province were affected by the coronavirus, hence on-campus classes will not be held there till April 28.
“The NCOC meeting is reviewing the pandemic situation in the country and will decide the fate of schools,” the education ministry said in a message on Twitter .
The federal government had earlier shut all educational institutions in cities where the coronavirus positivity ratio was high till April 11.
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On Sunday, Mehmood said that education and health ministers will meet at the NCOC on April 6 (today) to decide whether to open or further close educational institutions.
In a tweet, the minister said that the exam situation will also be discussed during the meeting.
“Whatever is decided will be a collective decision of the country’s health and education authorities & NCOC,” he had said.
Students are staging protests in major cities demanding postponement of exams as in-person learning has been badly affected due to the closure of schools.
Students look to Shafqat Mehmood a day before important NCOC meeting.
On the other hand, the Sindh government has suspended on-campus learning till class 8 from April 6 for 15 days, citing risks of the spread of COVID-19.
The provincial government has also suggested the Centre impose a ban on inter-provincial and air transport to control the third wave of coronavirus which has wreaked havoc in the last few weeks.