Ministers urge parents to send children back to schools with face masks

Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Tuesday appealed the parents to send their children to schools when they will be reopened as it’s very important to get them back into the classrooms to learn and to be amongst their fellow friends.

Talking to a private news channel, minister Shafqat urged that the teachers and students will be required to wear masks in classrooms and indoor spaces when schools will be reopened on January 11.

He stressed the need for taking more precautionary measures to halt the spread of Covid-19 infection, adding, children with special needs and students with medical or respiratory issues were allowed to be on medical leave.

He put great stress to ensure implementation of the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs), adding, teachers and head teachers would play vital role in ensuring such SOPs.

The minister said that the decision regarding reopening of the education institutions was taken after consultation with all the provincial authorities.
He regretted that the pandemic had badly affected the education of students. We will review the educational loss of students in consultation with the provinces, he added.

The students’ learning level will be checked and the schools will be instructed in this regard”, he said.

He urged the students to work hard to cover up their educational loss. He hoped that by next year the schools would work in normal routine.
Replying to a question, he said government was well aware about the financial loss of private sectors especially the lower grade schools where mostly teachers lost their jobs due to closure of many private schools.

He mentioned that for a major relief, the federal government has announced interest-free loans for low-fee private schools and its plan was already forward to Finance ministry for its final approval and hopefully after the approval of the summary, the educational institutions could obtain the loans.

He assured that the government was taking measures to provide relief to the educational institutions, adding, government was committed to provide the best quality education to all students as providing opportunities of quality education is among the foremost priority of the PM Imran Khan.

Punjab Education Minister Dr Murad Raas also said that Single National Curriculum (SNC) is a step to have one system of education for all in terms of curriculum, medium of instruction and a common platform of assessment so that all children could have a fair and equal opportunity to receive high quality education.

He highlighted that the first SNC draft for Class I to V has been formulated and shared with all the provinces/areas and the Cambridge University for their input and feedback.

SNC draft would soon be implemented after getting approval and it would not only help widen the knowledge base but also create a competitive atmosphere in the public and private education sector on an equal basis, he added.

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