ISLAMABAD            -          Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (FE&PT) on Friday conveyed all provinces, and federating units regarding decisions taken on re-opening of educational institutions by National Command and Operations Center (NCOC).

Federal secretary FE&PT Dr. Sajid Yousufani has written a letter to chief secretaries of all provinces, Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) regarding decisions of NCOC for safe opening of educational institutions and vocational training centers.

The letter said that input of all provincial governments was sought for the Inter Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) dated 8th July, 2020 to come up with a consensus policy for the safe re-opening of National Education Institutions/Vocational Centers. The advice and guidance of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination was also solicited keeping the pandemic and safety procedures in consideration.

It further stated that the NCOC had decided to open all educational institutionss, including madaris, public and private schools, colleges, universities, across the country from September 15, 2020. However, the government will review the health indicators in the first and third week of August and in September before opening of educational institutions to ensure that the conditions are suitable for reopening.

The education facilities will reopen on the basis of clear and detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for safe education facility reopening.

It was also decided that all education institutions will open their administrative and academic offices from July 15 onwards to begin preparations for safe reopening and ensure implementation of SOPs.

It said that NCOC agreed to give permission to the universities to allow their PhD level students for those who wanted to do their research work in laboratories, to physically attend the institutions before 15th of September.

It said that in addition, universities would allow students that were in far flung areas to join on campus classes before September 15,2020 ensuring only 30% hostel occupancy. This is an attempt to mitigate the academic loss of students from remote areas in education during COVID-19. It was agreed that with the re-opening of institutions, students will be tested and kept in isolation till results were received. In case of positive results students will not be allowed to stay in hostel.