Private school owners are increasingly becoming angrier on the persistent closure of schools since March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the government is resisting their demand and that is quite a sane approach. School owners only want their children back to the classroom for a monthly tuition fee, whose collection has dropped significantly in the lockdown period. Their financial concerns are genuine too but they should wait until the virus data keep on showing a downward trend. School owners had better stop emotionally blackmailing the government in the name of study loss. In recent days, the government has allowed mainstream business activities under certain SOPs, and the school sector also wants similar treatment and permission to resume classes to do away with fear. A few schools opened on Monday in Karachi despite the government’s strict instructions. To all violators, Sindh Minister for Education Saeed Ghani has a strict message: they all will face action. He
sought a report from his officials on the schools that reopened so that the government can take action against them. Those resuming classes will have their registration cancelled. Similarly, Punjab Minister for
School Education Murad Raas has told the schools owners that in case they violate government’s instructions over opening of schools, their schools would be sealed. Viewing the current trend of active cases of coronavirus, school owners should wait for the final decision regarding the resumption of educational activities till September. Even if schools open from mid-September, they should work under strict SOPs, and for that school owners, teachers and other administrative staff should be trained.
Initially, there will be three shifts means a class will be divided into three sections if the class is large and each section will be called on alternative days. These proposed measures, however, have not gone well with school owners’ bodies. The representative of the private schools demanded that the government listen to them and stop threatening them with
sealing the schools. The body says they are ready to go on a long march if the government seal their schools, register cases against and cancel registration in case a school goes for an early resumption of
classes. Similarly, owners in Sindh accuse the government of being “unfair” towards the schools. Several school owners in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are facing criminal cases. The government should think of a
financial package for school owners as well as phased opening. The areas with zero coronavirus cases can be opened.
Even if schools open from mid-September, they should work under strict SOPs, and for that school owners, teachers and other administrative staff should be trained. Initially, there will be three shifts means a class will be divided into three sections if the class is large and each section will be called on alternative days.