The Sindh government prepared its standard operating procedures (SOPs) and recommendations on reopening schools, a few days before a meeting of the education ministers will decide when to reopen educational institutes.

Ghani presided over a meeting of the Sindh education department's steering committee, where participants exchanged views on the COVID-19 SOPs to be implemented and the reopening of educational institutes. 

"The current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has improved a lot," said Ghani. "We have finalised SOPs and discussed some recommendations [for the meeting with the education ministers]," he added. 

Ghani said the Sindh government was of the view that educational institutes should not be reopened all at once but at "different stages". 

"As per our recommendations, classes of grade 9 and above should be resumed from September 15," he said. "Classes of primary to grade 5 students should be resumed from September 28 whereas those of grade 6-8 should resume from September 21," he added. 

The minister said that these recommendations would be forwarded to the Centre, warning schools from reopening before the date agreed upon by the provinces and federal government. 

"If any school reopens before the agreed date, [the action] will be treated as against the law," he said. "If a school asks for more time for [implementation of] SOPs, then it can be granted," he added. 

Ghani said that the Sindh government will announce its final decision on reopening schools after the NCOC meeting on September 7. 

The minister said that results of grade 9 and 10 will be announced on September 15 while those of grade 11 and 12 will be revealed on September 30. 

"Marksheets will arrive at educational institutions one week after results are announced," he said. 

Earlier today, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Friday rejected "false news" that schools across the country would remain closed till October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mahmood tweeted that a meeting between all the education ministers will decide the likelihood of reopening schools and that too, in a phased manner.