ISLAMABAD : The decision on early and extended winter vacations in view of the rise in coronavirus cases across Pakistan will be taken in a meeting on November 23.
This was announced by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training in a statement issued here on Monday. Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood convened a special meeting to deliberate the plan of action of educational institutes with provincial education ministers. Apart from the education ministers, the meeting was also attended by officials of health ministries and the National Command and Operations Centre. The provincial education ministers opposed the immediate closure of educational institutions despite rising Covid-19 cases as the country grapples with the pandemic’s second wave, Keeping the current situation in mind, consultations were held in regards to the early closure of schools for winter vacations and extending the break. The forum proposed commencing winter break from November and continuing it till January. However, a consensus could not be achieved and the participants of the forum decided to review the situation again next week.According to the statement, the provincial ministers apprised the forum of the latest coronavirus situation and the impact on the education sector in their regions, but no final decision was taken about vacations and closure of schools.
The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEMC) will meet again on November 23 at 11:00am to review the situation.
Earlier, Punjab Minister for School Education Dr Murad Raas had said that the decision on school closure would be deferred till next week. “No decision made on closure of Schools in Punjab today. The next meeting will be on Monday 23rd November 2020 for further review of the Covid-19 situation,” said Murad Raas. “All options are being discussed. No immediate decision for now.”
The Monday meeting was called last week following the National Command and Operations Centre’s (NCOC) recommendation to announce early and extended winter vacations for schools due to the rising positivity rate in educational institutes. TLTP