Education ministry proposes shutting down schools from Nov 24

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Education has proposed to shut down educational institutions from November 24 to January 31 amid a second wave of coronavirus infections in Pakistan.

Primary schools will be closed from November 24, middle schools from December 2 and higher secondary schools be closed from December 15, the ministry proposed in its letter to the provinces.

However, the education ministry officials want teachers to come to educational institutes.

The ministry proposed calling teachers to schools and colleges to prepare for online classes. Online education systems, such as Teleschool and Teleradio, can be implemented, it recommended.

The recommendations will be presented in a meeting of provincial education ministers on November 23.

The federal education ministry also seeks to extend the ongoing academic session to May 31, according to the letter.

It recommended that Matric and Intermediate exams be held in June 2021.

Ban on large gatherings in effect immediately

The National Coordination Committee has imposed an immediate ban on large gatherings as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in the country.

According to a statement, the NCC has imposed a ban on outdoor gatherings that have more than 300 attendees.

The NCC said that the management of any event will be responsible for implementing standard operations procedures (SOPs) pertaining to coronavirus.

If the event leads to the spread of the virus, the management will be held responsible.

On marriages, it said that a ban would be imposed on indoor gatherings from November 20 and that only outdoor events will be permitted with an upper limit of 300 people.

The NCC will convene a meeting next week to decide on imposing a ban on indoor dining at restaurants, adding that people will be encouraged to eat outdoors or take food home.

Local authorities will ensure that people wear masks in all crowded spaces, the NCC added.

It must be noted that the ban also extends to political rallies. The Pakistan Democratic Movement has however vowed it will hold all scheduled rallies as planned. Their next rally is due to take place in Peshawar on November 22.

Punjab imposes smart

lockdown in six cities

In a bid to stem the coronavirus from spreading, the Punjab government has imposed a smart lockdown in six cities – including Bahawalpur, Bhakkar, Multan, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, and Lahore – on Wednesday.

The lockdown is imposed in areas reporting a high number of coronavirus cases. According to the issued notification, all shopping malls, restaurants, offices (private and public) will remain closed in the areas under lockdown. Moreover, only one person will be allowed to use a ride in cases of emergency. All types of gatherings will be completely banned, whereas, grocery stores, general stores, flour mills, fruit, vegetable shops, ovens, and petrol pumps will be allowed to remain open from 9am to 7pm. tps://