ISLAMABAD: As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase, the country’s education ministers are meeting today (Monday) to take a final call on extended winter vacations.
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood will chair the simulated conference.
Sources in the Ministry of Education said that the decision would be taken after reviewing the situation, adding that from Nov 24 to Jan 31, the Federal Ministry would recommend declaring extended winter vacations.
During the vacations and by Tele-School, e-Taleem and Radio School, the ministry also proposes educating students online.
The officials said the meeting would also take up a second alternative, with a small number of students attending classes, adding that primary grade students would avoid attending school from Nov 24 under this proposal.
Positivity ratio in educational institutions stands at almost 2pc
This move would continue to reduce the institutional burden of 28 million students.
Based on the infection rate at the point, middle-grade students will also avoid attending schools from Dec 2 onwards.
This measure would help limit the travel of six million additional pupils.
Finally, upper and higher secondary school students will also avoid attending classes from Dec 15 onwards.
The condition in scenario two will be reviewed on a daily basis, officials said, adding that the National Command and Operation Centre has already urged ministers of education to close schools from 20 November to 31 January.
“Both proposals will be discussed in detail before making any final decision,” an official said.
Positivity level in educational institution is almost 2pc by random research, which is worrying as the students in their families could become a source of spread of the virus.
The meeting will also address the request by the ministry to extend the academic session until 31 May 2021.
The Ministry recommended setting the test date for grades 1-8 from 1 to 10 June and that for the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) in July.
It also recommended beginning the next academic session instead of April from Sept 2021.
Because of Covid-19, educational institutions had faced a six-month closure from March to September and now in the second spell of the pandemic, the ministry officials said the closure had become imminent due to the growing number of incidents.