KARACHI - Private school associations have demanded of the Sindh government to let them open educational institutions from June 15, asserting that they will ensure “strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus” for which an SOP will be formed after the steering committee’s meeting.

This year, the provincial education department has so far convened three meetings of the committee. However, the stakeholders are yet to decide the calendar of the new aca­demic year and find out ways to minimise the educational disruption. Also, low-fee private schools, which make around 60 per cent of the total registered private educational insti­tutes in the province, are facing a severe financial crunch. The owners have continuously been demanding interest loans and financial assistance from the federal and the provincial governments for their survival.

They say if the government didn’t provide financial assis­tance to them, a majority of such institutions will shut down in the near future, because of which the number of out-of-school children will increase.

The associations which are demanding the reopening of educational institutes are the All Private Schools Manage­ment Association Sindh, the Private Schools Management As­sociation Sind, the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation’s Sindh chapter, the All Sindh Private Schools and the Colleges Association. On the other hand, the parents’ association are opposing the reopening of schools. The leaders of the asso­ciation say they can’t take risk with children’s lives by send­ing them to schools, while the provincial education minister in his latest press conference after a steering committee’s meeting stated that an immediate reopening of schools was impossible. But the minister admitted that the education department had no solution on how to overcome the educa­tional disruption. Addressing a press conference at the Ka­rachi Press Club last week, Syed Tariq Shah, chairman of the All Private Schools Management Association, said the govern­ment should announce the reopening of the schools along with financial assistance for low-cost private educational in­stitutions which play an important role by helping the state in educating children coming from humble backgrounds.

He said the private schools would implement strict SOPs being followed by other countries.