HYDERABAD - The Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani has expressed satisfaction over adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) being adopted by the educational institutions which have been reopened in the first phase.

At a press conference at Shahbaz Hall of Shahbaz Building here on Saturday the minister said he personally visited public and private sector schools to ensure that the SOPs were being followed. “Although the situation is satisfactory, the parents and the school management should ensure optimal compliance with the health department issued SOPs,” he advised and pointed out that despite a decline in the spread of the pandemic, coronavirus still existed.

Ghani warned that if the virus cases began to increase again, the educational institutions as well as the other sectors would have to be closed again. He said as per the decision of the National Coordination Committee (NCOC) the educational institutions were supposed to be reopened in 3 phases. Initially the high school classes from 9th standard to the university level had resumed the academic activities while the classes from 6 to 8 would resume in the second phase, he said adding that the primary section would be restored in the third phase.

“However, the Sindh government has postponed the second phase to September 28 in view of the prevailing situation,” he told elaborating that the second phase had been deferred because new virus cases had surfaced from the educational institutions. He acknowledged the financial losses suffered by the private and public sector institutions during the COVID-19 lockdown but he said human lives were more important than any financial consideration.

Responding to a question the minister said the local government elections should be held on time but according to the constitution the Council of Common Interests (CCI) would have to notify the population census 2017 before the delimitation exercise could start. The minister said the federal and the provincial governments were on one page as far as the resumption of the academic process was concerned.

Ghani also chaired a meeting which was attended by Commissioner Hyderabad division Muhammad Abbas Baloch, Deputy Commissioner Fuad Ghaffar Soomro and officials of the Education Department.