Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Tuesday has warned of closing educational institutions which will be found violating standard operating procedures (SOPs) designated to prevent spread of coronavirus.

Talking to media, the minister said that reopening of educational institutions was not an easy decision. Safety and wellbeing of students from arrival at the institutions till return to their houses is government’s top priority, he expressed.

Shafqat Mahmood further said that the authorities have also been directed to monitor implementation of SOPs in buses and vans. Precaution is the only way to get rid of this deadly virus, he added.

The statement came as thousands of schools and colleges across Pakistan have reopened today after remaining closed for more than six months (187 days) due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government, masks have been made mandatory for all teachers and students, while schools, colleges, and university administrations have been directed to ensure availability of sensitizers at the entry gates. 

As per the decision taken by the government, educational institutions from grade nine to onwards have reopened today and if the pandemic situation remain controlled, then students in grade six to eight will return to school on September 23, while students in nursery to grade five will return to classes on September 30.

Religious seminaries across the country have also reopened. Similarly, the vocational and technical institutions started functioning as well.