ISLAMABAD: In a bid to review the ongoing coronavirus situation in the country and decide whether schools should be closed, an Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEMC) will take place on Monday, November 23.
The meeting will be convened by the Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood, while provincial education ministers — along with officials from health ministries and the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) — will also be in attendance to discuss the situation.
Last Monday, a similar meeting was called by Shafqat Mehmood to decide early and extended winter vacation. During the meeting, provincial ministers apprised the forum about the latest COVID-19 situation and the impact on the education sector in their regions, but no final decision was taken about vacations and closure of schools. As a result, the decision was deferred to November 23.
Following the meeting, the federal minister took to his Twitter account and announced that the ministers could not reach a consensus regarding the closure of schools in accordance with the situation in their respective provinces. https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Web%20Desk&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1328359526291165184&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.geo.tv%2Flatest%2F319567-education-ministers-to-meet-on-monday-to-discuss-school-closure&siteScreenName=geonews_english&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
While sharing the options discussed by the minsters, Shafqat Mahmood said one of the formulas that came up [during the meeting] was that the government should grant winter vacations and extend them.
“The second formula [proposed] was that the government should grant holidays but first [in a phased manner] to primary schools, then secondary schools and finally, to the universities,” he added.
Shafqat Mahmood said that discussions also revolved around the upcoming matric exams. “Another suggestion was to move the matric exams being held in April to May,” he said.
“If the academic year is beginning in April, then shift it to August,” added Shafqat Mahmood, stating that these options were under discussion since “these are special circumstance”.