Schools across Pakistan resumed primary classes on Wednesday after an over six-month gap.
Higher classes were resumed in stages starting September 15. Sindh resumed its primary classes on Monday. The government decided to reopen schools in stages to ensure the coronavirus doesn’t spread.
Social distancing, use of sanitizer and wearing masks has been made compulsory for all teachers, staff and students.
Schools not following SOPs will be penalised, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced after an National Command and Control Centre meeting on Tuesday.
He said that since schools started reopening on September 15, over 171,000 tests have been conducted and the positive result rate is less than 1%.
Parents should rest assured, we are testing more than before, he said.
Mahmood said only 1,284 tests have come back positive, which is a positivity rate of 0.8%. We made the decision to resume classes according to the data we have.
The PM’s aide on health, Dr Faisal Sultan, said we need to be extra cautious with young children. There should be fewer children in class to ensure social distance is maintained, he said.
Implementing the SOPs is the parents and schools’ responsibility, he warned. Children who are sick, have a cough, cold, flu or any other kind of illness should not be sent to school, he advised.