The federal education minister was addressing the press conference at the National Operations and Command Center (NCOC) along with SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan to brief about the decisions taken in the education minister’s meeting
“We analyzed the coronavirus situation in all provinces and concluded that keeping stern action has to be taken to stem the spread of virus,” Dr Faisal Sultan said.
Earlier, an important meeting was held at the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) to review the latest COVID-19 situation and decide about the closure of schools and early winter vacations in light of the rising infections among students and their teachers.
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar chaired the session at the NCOC also attended by SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan and Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood.
The participants will be briefed by the national health services ministry and NCOC about the pandemic-related situation in the country.
The NCOC was apprised that the positivity ratio in educational institutions has increased from 1.8% to 3.3% during the last one week which is actually 82% increase.
The forum deliberated in length for decisions about educational institutions.
After the NCOC meeting, the education ministers met and discussed the recommendations.
Federal Minister Education @Shafqat_Mahmood will chair Inter Provincial Ministerial meeting today at 11 am to discuss the situation of educational institutions in the wake of 2nd wave #COVID19 @SaeedGhani1 @DrMuradPTI @SardarRindPTI @RajaYassir_PTI @ShehramTaraKai pic.twitter.com/mmGJlAidEU
— Ministry of Federal Education/ProfessionalTraining (@EduMinistryPK) November 23, 2020
The government has yet to decide whether in the backdrop of the second wave of coronavirus cases schools should be closed again.
Mahmood said that at those educational institutes where facilities for online education are not available, students would come to school one day and take their homework.
What Punjab is saying
Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas has said that he will take a “sensible” decision regarding the province’s educational institutions, as “lives matter the most”.
As the coronavirus cases rise and the government mulls strategies to curb the virus’ spread, the education minister said that he would make a decision based on data.
“Lives matter the most. Zero pressure on me from either side. Sensible decisions have to be made,” the minister added.
“If I close the schools people are not happy. If I keep the schools open people are not happy. Let me just inform everyone that decision will be made on DATA that is being given to me,” Raas said in a tweet.
What Sindh is saying
Sindh is against early closure of schools.
The Sindh Education and Literacy Department decided not to close schools for the time being or have any winter vacations at all this year, it had emerged, after key stakeholders in the provincial education sector met with Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani in the chair.
Ghani, after the meeting, said that the Sindh Education Department’s decision represented the province’s position and that a national decision on the matter would ultimately be taken on November 23, when representatives of all provinces are to meet and debate the issue.
It was further decided in the meeting that students will not be promoted again without them sitting for examinations.