Islamabad - The education ministries from all provinces Wednesday unanimously reaffirmed opening of all educational institutions from September 15, while the private schools demanded to open institutions in August.

The Association of Private Schools and Colleges had announced opening of the educational institutions from August 15 in the country.

The decision of opening educational institutions from September 15 was taken in a meeting of Inter-Provincial Education ministers’ conference. The conference was presided over by Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training (FE&PT) Shafqat Mahmood.  The meeting discussed the devolution of education after 18th amendment, reopening of educational institutions and uniform education system in the country.

Officials said that all provinces agreed on the decision of reopening of educational institutions from September 15 keeping in view the novel coronaviurs (COVID-19) during Eid and Muharram.

It was also decided that the educational institutions would be opened phase-wise and senior classes would commence in the initial phased while junior classes would start in the next phase.

The ministry of FE&PT sent the guidelines of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to all provinces in this regard. The conference also agreed that permission of conducting exams also brought positive results as no surge in pandemic was observed during exams. 

Punjab Education minister Murad Raas also made an announcement on social media website “All Public & Private Schools of Punjab to open September 15th, 2020. This is a tentative date depending on COVID 19 situation in Punjab. SOPs for opening Schools are in place which will be conveyed to everyone”.

The inter-provincial education ministers’ conference was also informed about the decisions of National Curriculum Council (NCC) and it was agreed that a uniform education system should be implemented in the country to end the discrimination in education system. 

The conference was informed that provinces would be allowed to adopt any medium of instruction till grade 5th whichever was easy for students, while the ministry of FE&PT with the help of national and international experts was preparing model text books for students.

The conference was informed by the minister that all provinces would follow model text books; however provinces and private schools would be given space to make additions to it as per their requirements.

The minister also said that after 18th amendment education had become a provincial subject and provinces should adopt the teachers and students of provinces under their departments.

All provinces and governments of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) presented their inputs on it and it was decided to discuss the issue in the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

Earlier, a delegation of private schools had held a meeting with the federal education ministers and conveyed its concerns about the financial loss of educational institutions due to closure.

NAPS delegation led by Malik Imran had urged the government to announce a relief package for the private educational institutions and allow their early opening following the SOPs.