- Economic relief sought for education sector
- Govt asked to suspend taxes for a year
- Schools should be reopened as planned
Demanding an economic relief package for the education sector, a council for private schools has urged the government to reopen educational institutions on January 11 as planned.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday, the council regretted the government’s decision to close educational institutions. “We were following coronavirus SOPs yet the schools were shut down while hotels and markets have been allowed to stay open.”
They said at least 80% of schools across the country did not have access to internet. “Thousands of schools have closed their doors and many others are following suit.”
The council demanded the government provide an economic relief package for the education sector. “They should suspend registration fee and taxes for at least a year.”
Last month, the federal government, on recommendations by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), had announced that educational institutes will remain closed from November 26 to January 10.
The students will study at home or get weekly homework till December 24 and winter vacations will start December 25. All examinations have been postponed except admission and recruitment tests.
The schools are scheduled to reopen on January 11.
Although education is a provincial subject under the 18th Amendment, the provinces adopted Centre’s policy owing to a Supreme Court decision directing for a uniformed policy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Keeping in view the rapid spread of coronavirus infections and a newly-detected more infectious variant, the decision to reopen schools next month is being reviewed.
COVID-19 situation in Pakistan
Pakistan has reported 79,233 coronavirus infections since the start of December, raising the national tally to 479,715. The country’s COVID-19 death toll crossed the grim milestone of 10,000 with the virus claimed 2,014 lives in the last 30 days.
Government data shows that 435,073 have recovered from the virus so far.