KARACHI   -   All educational institutions of Sindh will reopen from today (Tuesday) amid concerns over implementation of coronavirus-related precautions.

“After consultations with the stakeholders, it has been decided to open educational institutions across the country in three different phases,” Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani announced here on Monday.

As per the announced schedule, initially academic session would resume at universities, colleges and of 9th and 10th classes in schools from September 15.

This would be followed by allowing students of classes 6 to 8 to attend schools from September 21 while pre-primary and primary classes would resume from September 28. 

The Sindh government has also formed monitoring committees at district level, consisting of health and education department officials, aimed at assessing the status of implementation on SOPs at the educational institutions.

The provincial education authorities issued separate SOPs for teachers, schools’ management, parents and transporters with major emphasis on wearing of masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing.

The administrators of educational institutions have been directed to ensure proper disinfecting of their school/college/university’s premises. 

They have also been asked to hold classes of a minimum number of students so that social distancing could be ensured.

The administrators have also been warned of closure of their schools, colleges or universities in case any student or teacher tests positive for the coronavirus.

As per the guidelines, teachers have also been told not to gather in the staffroom in large numbers so that risks of spread of pandemic could be curtailed.

Similarly, the institutions have also been directed to use Saturday as a working day till the pandemic is over. 

At a meeting, Saeed Ghani had with the heads of educational institutions some time back, he was assured that all precautions would be followed to prevent any outbreak of the virus.

Ghani urged private schools’ heads to ensure strict implementation on the SOPs, including the use of sprays, sanitizers, masks and hand-washing, particularly while serving food or drink at schools’ canteens.

“There should be a complete ban on the sale of items outside the schools,” the provincial minister directed.

However, besides a national level decision to reopen the educational institutes, Spokesman for the Sindh government Murtaza Wahab has requested the Sindh and federal governments to reconsider its decision to reopen schools.

He has put forward his concerns as a parent. 

He tweeted that the situation is still uncertain and children may not be able to follow the standard operating procedures.