Schools, universities reopen in Pakistan after 6 months of COVID-19 break

New Delhi (NVI): After a break of nearly six months, Pakistan today began its phased reopening of schools and universities, in view of the falling number of new cornavirus cases in the country.

While high schools, colleges and universities reopened on September 15, classes VI to VIII would start from September 23. Primary school will start from September 30, according to the country’s Education Ministry.

As per the health protocols, 20 students or less can be seated in a classroom. The students have been divided into groups and will attend schools on alternate days.

According to the SOPs issued by the government, masks are mandatory for teachers and students. The institutions will ensure availability of hand-washing facilities and sanitizers at the entry gates.

All educational institutions in Pakistan were closed on March 16 after the outbreak of the coronavirus. Furthermore, all annual examinations were cancelled.

In addition to this, over 30,000 religious seminaries across the country will also reopen in phases today onwards, according to media reports.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday welcomed the return of children to schools amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Imran Khan said, “Tomorrow we will welcome millions of children back to school. It is our priority & collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safely to learn. We have worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety rules on #COVID19.”

The number of coronavirus cases reached 3,02,424 today after 404 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. Six patients died in this period, taking the death toll to 6,389, according to the Ministry of National Health Services.

So far, 290,261 people have fully recovered from the disease, while 563 are in critical condition.