Corona virus: Educational institutions will open in Pakistan. What precautions will be taken when schools open?

By | June 20, 2021


It was decided at the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference chaired by Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Monday that public and private educational institutions would be opened across Pakistan from September 15. However, students of each class will not be called to school immediately from September 15.
In the first phase, ninth, tenth and intermediate students will be called to the school from September 15. One week later, on September 22, sixth-graders will be allowed to come to school. In the third phase, all primary school children will go to school from September 30.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood while addressing a press conference said that it is important to monitor the health of children so they will review the situation for seven days and then in the next phase they will call the next class children to school.
“However, we will have an idea of ​​where the situation and the spread of the disease are going, as we have 7 million students in higher education,” he said. Once satisfied, the rest of the education system will be able to open.
Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood said that all these decisions would be applicable to all types of teaching process in all the provinces, including schools as well as madrassas. “This is a very difficult decision and we have made this decision with a lot of thought and success will come only when we all play our part together,” he added.
Regarding SOPs, Dr. Faisal Sultan, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, said:
⦁ Half the number of children will be seated in a classroom, for example, if 40 children study in a class, 20 children will come one day and 20 children will be called to school the next day.

  • Social distance will be adopted to prevent the spread of the disease.
    ⦁ He asked children and parents to come to school wearing masks, even if it is a cloth mask.
    He urged children to wash their hands at school and said that the administration of educational institutions would have to ensure this ban.
    “Despite all these precautions, we will look into the situation and there will be testing and screening every two weeks in collaboration with the health department,” he said.
    Instructions for parents
    According to instructions issued by the National Command and Control Center:
  • Send school masks to children.
  • Do not send a child to school if they have a cough or symptoms.
  • If the condition worsens, get the child’s corona tested immediately, and if the test is positive, report it to the school.
    Decision regarding universities
    Ayesha Ikram, a spokeswoman for the Higher Education Commission (HEC), told the BBC that the HEC had asked university heads to formulate policies in a timely and clear manner according to the conditions of their institution. Inform university members and students in style.
    He added that all universities must implement SOPs to prevent the virus. However, the university itself will decide which year of students they want to call the university and who they want to teach online.
    However, the HEC has suggested that:
  • Students who are in their final year or who are doing research work should be given priority in calling the university.
  • Children who do not have access to the Internet should also be allowed to come to the university.
  • Children who are allowed to come to the university on priority basis for various reasons should also be allowed to stay in hostels.
    Punjab Education Minister Murad Rass, while quoting educational institutions, said that double shift would not be allowed in any of the schools across Punjab. Students from all parties will be called on alternate days to ensure implementation of SOPs and precautions.
    In addition, all schools in Punjab will be required to ensure the implementation of the directives issued by the government, for which the School Education Department has already constituted committees for inspection and monitoring.
    On the other hand, according to Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, schools will be opened in Sindh in phases. Strict action will also be taken against educational institutions which do not comply with S&Ps. However, if there is an increase in cases of corona virus in an area, schools in the area will be closed.
    How can children avoid corona in schools where water is not available?
    Preventing or preventing the spread of corona virus in educational institutions can be difficult if a large number of schools do not have access to water and there are many schools without toilets.
    If we take the example of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, there is no water available in 6,500 schools and no toilets in 5,000 schools. The situation in other provinces of Pakistan is no better.
    The Corona virus epidemic in Pakistan has definitely come down but it is not over yet. It is a big challenge for the authorities to open educational institutions with precautionary measures or SOPs.
    SOPs or precautionary instructions are being issued to open educational institutions, but how these instructions will be implemented is currently being considered at the education department and government level.
    However, at the federal level, it is being said that educational institutions should open by September 15
  • Social distance will be adopted to prevent the spread of the disease.
    ⦁ He asked children and parents to come to school wearing masks, even if it is a cloth mask.
    He urged children to wash their hands at school and said that the administration of educational institutions would have to ensure this ban.
    “Despite all these precautions, we will look into the situation and there will be testing and screening every two weeks in collaboration with the health department,” he said.
    Instructions for parents
    According to instructions issued by the National Command and Control Center:
  • Send school masks to children.
  • Do not send a child to school if they have a cough or symptoms.
  • If the condition worsens, get the child’s corona tested immediately, and if the test is positive, report it to the school.
    Decision regarding universities
    Ayesha Ikram, a spokeswoman for the Higher Education Commission (HEC), told the BBC that the HEC had asked university heads to formulate policies in a timely and clear manner according to the conditions of their institution. Inform university members and students in style.
    He added that all universities must implement SOPs to prevent the virus. However, the university itself will decide which year of students they want to call the university and who they want to teach online.
    However, the HEC has suggested that:
  • Students who are in their final year or who are doing research work should be given priority in calling the university.
  • Children who do not have access to the Internet should also be allowed to come to the university.
  • Children who are allowed to come to the university on priority basis for various reasons should also be allowed to stay in hostels.
    Punjab Education Minister Murad Rass, while quoting educational institutions, said that double shift would not be allowed in any of the schools across Punjab. Students from all parties will be called on alternate days to ensure implementation of SOPs and precautions.
    In addition, all schools in Punjab will be required to ensure the implementation of the directives issued by the government, for which the School Education Department has already constituted committees for inspection and monitoring.
    On the other hand, according to Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, schools will be opened in Sindh in phases. Strict action will also be taken against educational institutions which do not comply with S&Ps. However, if there is an increase in cases of corona virus in an area, schools in the area will be closed.
    How can children avoid corona in schools where water is not available?
    Preventing or preventing the spread of corona virus in educational institutions can be difficult if a large number of schools do not have access to water and there are many schools without toilets.
    If we take the example of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, there is no water available in 6,500 schools and no toilets in 5,000 schools. The situation in other provinces of Pakistan is no better.
    The Corona virus epidemic in Pakistan has definitely come down but it is not over yet. It is a big challenge for the authorities to open educational institutions with precautionary measures or SOPs.
    SOPs or precautionary instructions are being issued to open educational institutions, but how these instructions will be implemented is currently being considered at the education department and government level.
    However, at the federal level, it is being said that educational institutions should open by September 15
  • Social distance will be adopted to prevent the spread of the disease.
    ⦁ He asked children and parents to come to school wearing masks, even if it is a cloth mask.
    He urged children to wash their hands at school and said that the administration of educational institutions would have to ensure this ban.
    “Despite all these precautions, we will look into the situation and there will be testing and screening every two weeks in collaboration with the health department,” he said.
    Instructions for parents
    According to instructions issued by the National Command and Control Center:
  • Send school masks to children.
  • Do not send a child to school if they have a cough or symptoms.
  • If the condition worsens, get the child’s corona tested immediately, and if the test is positive, report it to the school.
    Decision regarding universities
    Ayesha Ikram, a spokeswoman for the Higher Education Commission (HEC), told the BBC that the HEC had asked university heads to formulate policies in a timely and clear manner according to the conditions of their institution. Inform university members and students in style.
    He added that all universities must implement SOPs to prevent the virus. However, the university itself will decide which year of students they want to call the university and who they want to teach online.
    However, the HEC has suggested that:
  • Students who are in their final year or who are doing research work should be given priority in calling the university.
  • Children who do not have access to the Internet should also be allowed to come to the university.
  • Children who are allowed to come to the university on priority basis for various reasons should also be allowed to stay in hostels.
    Punjab Education Minister Murad Rass, while quoting educational institutions, said that double shift would not be allowed in any of the schools across Punjab. Students from all parties will be called on alternate days to ensure implementation of SOPs and precautions.
    In addition, all schools in Punjab will be required to ensure the implementation of the directives issued by the government, for which the School Education Department has already constituted committees for inspection and monitoring.
    On the other hand, according to Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, schools will be opened in Sindh in phases. Strict action will also be taken against educational institutions which do not comply with S&Ps. However, if there is an increase in cases of corona virus in an area, schools in the area will be closed.
    How can children avoid corona in schools where water is not available?
    Preventing or preventing the spread of corona virus in educational institutions can be difficult if a large number of schools do not have access to water and there are many schools without toilets.
    If we take the example of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, there is no water available in 6,500 schools and no toilets in 5,000 schools. The situation in other provinces of Pakistan is no better.
    The Corona virus epidemic in Pakistan has definitely come down but it is not over yet. It is a big challenge for the authorities to open educational institutions with precautionary measures or SOPs.
    SOPs or precautionary instructions are being issued to open educational institutions, but how these instructions will be implemented is currently being considered at the education department and government level.
    However, at the federal level, it is being said that educational institutions should open by September 15

But for this, a meeting will be held at the central level on September 7 in which officials of the Ministry of Education from the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir will participate. After this meeting, the final opening of educational institutions may be announced.
Are the factors needed to prevent the spread of the corona virus available in all government schools in Pakistan? If they are not available, what can the government do about it and what steps can be taken to prevent the virus from spreading again?
What are the challenges?
There is not enough space in most schools to maintain social distance. There are many schools in Pakistan where there are only one or two rooms and it can be difficult to accommodate all the children in these rooms during severe weather.
According to the SOPs issued at the government level, there should be 25 students in each classroom whereas on an average there are 37 children in a classroom. Most schools have between 70 and 80 students.
Education department officials also called the lack of disinfectant sprays, soaps, sanitizers, masks and water a challenge and said funding was needed.
There are a large number of schools in Pakistan where there are no toilets and there are schools where water is not available. In such cases, frequent hand washing of children and staff will be a big challenge.
It will also be a big challenge for teachers and school head teachers to be untrained in implementing these SOPs after the school reopens. The number of children in schools is much higher, so when teachers are not trained, how will they be able to get the children to implement these rules? For this, training of these teachers will also have to be arranged.
Education department officials, among other challenges, have raised the issue of how to contact the health department if a child or staff member falls ill, and how to keep them safe. Can be delivered to the centers.
In addition, it is necessary to formulate measures and policies to overcome the time wasted due to closure of educational institutions and to establish a unit in the Department of Education to issue advisory to schools for implementation of these SOPs. And stay in touch with them.
Conditions of schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Department, there are a total of 33,477 schools, of which 6,458 schools, or 19 per cent, do not have access to basic necessities, such as water. Similarly, there are no toilets in 4889 schools.
Adopting social distance in this way will also be a big challenge. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa schools have a student-teacher ratio of 37, meaning one teacher for every 37 students and an average of 39 children per classroom.
In such a situation, the education department officials have suggested that there should be 25 children in a class. At present, according to officials, the biggest challenge may be in primary and secondary schools, where 23 to 28 percent of primary and 32 percent of secondary schools may have this problem, where the number of male and female students is much higher.
According to the officials, the rate in the classrooms of the students in the middle schools has been reported up to 25, so there will not be much difficulty in these schools.
As far as physical distance in classrooms is concerned, it can be a big challenge as there are currently a large number of schools with one or two rooms and a large number of students.
The 12,563 schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which make up 38% of the total number of schools, have only one or two rooms, meaning they have only one or two rooms, with only classrooms and seating for teachers. Is.
There are some areas in the province where the number of children in classrooms is less. For example, in Orakzai Agency, the average number of children in classrooms is 21, but in Bajaur Agency, the number of children is said to be 82.
What are SOPs?
Emphasis is being placed on enforcing regulations in educational institutions to prevent the spread of the virus. Guidelines have been developed for this purpose in which it is necessary to spray disinfectant in educational institutions. It is necessary to instruct the children to be clean and tell them to wash their hands repeatedly with soap for 20 seconds.
The school must have a thermal scanner to check for fever. In addition, children or staff members who have been in contact with an infected patient should not attend school for 30 days. Similarly, it is important for older teachers or teachers with weakened immune systems to make appropriate decisions and to employ trained teachers to keep children informed of social distance and physical distance.
In addition, guidelines have been developed for teachers on how to monitor children and how to keep the school sterile. At the same time, instructions have been issued on how to take care of cleanliness in case of sweating after using the toilet and playing sports, while urging children to bring food from home.
It has also been suggested that schools with a large number of students should work in two shifts or identify places where children can be educated safely.
Experts say that just as business centers and other institutions were opened and SOPs were issued for them, but they do not seem to be implemented, so too are SOPs issued for educational institutions.

They are gone and attention is being paid to this but it will be very difficult to control such a large number of children and implement these SOPs.

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