As the economy of the country suffers due to the lockdown, so too do the children who are unable to return to their schools. To curb the spread of the coronavirus, the government’s first precautionary measures were shutting down educational institutions and schools. But, by July, educational institutions are intended to return to their normal routine after completion of a quarter year lockdown.

Certainly, the reopening of schools may lead to an increased number of cases. The suggestion to reopen schools has already been rejected by the Sindhi government. Masks and sanitizers in government schools are not being properly provided because of low funds. Furthermore, children are exposed to social interactions within markets and other public places and can easily spread infection to their peers if they are infected themselves.

In the rural areas of Pakistan, the situation is worse. If the current situation persists, the drop-out rate will sharply increase. Unlike other countries, not all schools within Pakistan can afford to take an online initiative for their classes because of the poor advancement in technology.

Therefore, the government and the private school associations should make sure that all the SOPs are followed, so that schools may successfully reopen.

KHALID FARUQI,

Karachi.