June 24th, 2020
By Asra Haque
PTI official and member of the National Assembly (MNA) Sadaqat Ali Abbasi announced that physical classes in schools for secondary and higher education will resume from July 15, 2020, bringing an end to a nearly 3 month closure of all educational institutions.
The decision has been taken in light of demands by students for quality internet provisions, especially in far flung areas where connectivity is either poor or non-existent. Students claimed they were unable to attend mandatory online classes and were facing an education gap that would not only defer their graduation by a year, but also devalue their degrees.
In response to these concerns, Sadaqat Ali Abbasi announced during the live broadcast of Aaj TV’s Spot Light with Munizae Jahangir that universities and schools for matric, FSC, O Level and A Level students will reopen on July 15, 2020 keeping in mind adequate SOPs are devised and implemented.
However, Minister for Punjab School Education Dr. Murad Ras stated that there are currently no dates for reopening educational institutions in Punjab at the moment, terming “news” circulating on social media simply rumours.
The government has yet to officially announce a date for when schools and universities will be reopened. In the meanwhile, the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) has repeatedly urged to government to lift restrictions on schools under assurances that private schools have designed robust SOPs to be implemented on campuses. The APPSF claims that smaller private schools, unable to meet costs, will have to permanently close down should restrictions continue, and that the livelihoods of teachers and other school employees are at risk.