ISLAMABAD  - Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mahmood on Sunday said that government will take strict administrative actions for the implementation and enforcement of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) in schools after its reopening and nothing will be rushed without proper consultations and students’ safety will be the top priority while making any decision.

Talking to a private news channel, Education Minister said that our priority has always been the safety and security of students and teachers, adding, Education Department with the help of district administration would monitor the implementation of the SOPs in private schools and any school or academic institution that was found guilty of violating SOPs will be shut down by authorities. The reopening of schools is not just an education decision, but primarily a public health one that needs to assess the various factors by analyzing how to mitigate the risk of contamination, he said.

He explained that the reopening of schools depending on the evolution of the pandemic over the coming months.

Minister further said the discussions will be held on the matter and authorities will review the decision in August in light of the coronavirus situation in the country. If the crisis is not curbed, schools and universities will not be opened, he said. The Ministry has been preparing guidance on reopening that provide a full range of health and safety recommendations and in our final meeting Health Ministry would also be the part of our decisions as well.

“We will limit the number of learners in classrooms and we will divide up pupils in different spaces, he said, adding, we are looking to learn from the experiences of other countries to plan our reopening process.

Digital applications are being developed for teachers around socio-emotional and academic challenges, while student evaluations will be conducted differently, he said.

We must work together to make our education systems more resilient and better prepared for the current paradigm shift as well as to face possible crisis in the future, he added.