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Final Decision to Reopen Schools on Sept 7: Shafqat Mahmood

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Friday a final decision to reopen schools that were closed in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus would be taken at an interprovincial education ministers’ conference on Sept 7.

Speaking at a press conference, he said the Ministry of Health will devise standard operating procedures (SOPs) for educational institutions to follow to prevent the spread of the virus.

Schools will reopen from Sept 15 given that the coronavirus situation improves, he added.

Lamenting that the pandemic took a heavy toll on the education sector, Shafqat Mahmood said he mobilised the forum of the interprovincial education ministers’ conference to deliberate issues related to education.

According to a Gallup survey, he said, seven to eight million children have been getting education through the Telechool, an educational television channel, launched by the prime minister in April to make up for academic losses suffered by students due to closure of education institutes.

Highlighting his ministry’s performance in two years of the PTI government, he said a uniform curriculum is being brought in to fulfill the promise the party had made in its manifesto to weed out educational inequalities in the country.

This has never happened in the 72-year history of Pakistan, he claimed, adding all schools will have a uniform curriculum from April 2020. He said religious seminaries will also teach this curriculum to enable children studying there to join various fields.

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