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School, Colleges to Reopen Only After Pandemic is Over: Minister

 Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood Friday said the government would review its decision regarding reopening of the schools in first week of September and would ensure atmosphere at schools safe and sound for students.

Talking to a private news channel, the minister said that private educational institutions could only call their teachers and administration staff on duty before September 15 but “we will never allow government schools management to call their students before final decision as government would not compromise on the health of students at any cost.”

“School and colleges across the country will reopen only after the coronavirus pandemic is over,” he added.

He said strict SOPs including spaced-out seating arrangements, division of class into further sections and change in timings could be some of the measures that schools would have to adopt whenever they were reopened.

“We are considering every possible option. We will try to adjust things like whether to hold the annual exams this year, or defer the tests to next year,” he said. The final decision would be taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which monitors and acts upon the developments to stem the spread of coronavirus in the country, he mentioned.

He further said that specific tasks would be created for teachers in schools and responsibilities for ensuring health and hygiene would be defined before schools reopen.

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