Educational institutes in Pakistan (including universities and schools) are finally reopening from September 15 with SOPs amidst coronavirus.
Education Minister Punjab, Murad Raas announced that all public and private schools in Punjab will be reopening in phases. Classes from Nursery to grade V will be restarting from 30th September; Grade VI to Grade VIII on 22nd September; while Grade IX to Intermediate will be the first to start on 15th September.
This decision was followed by a hopeful decrease in coronavirus crises but the danger is still looming. Murad Raas received backlash on his tweet from the students and parents alike. Previously it was said that schools will be reopened in July when Pakistan lifted lockdown in May. Government received backlash even then due to majority of the people failing to follow SOPs.
In order to maintain safety guidelines during the pandemic, he added that classes will follow an alternate day schedule rather than double shifts on single day. 50% students will attend the class on one day and remaining 50% on the other.
Provincial Government Deciding on SOPs for Reopening Schools in Pakistan
The decision of reopening schools throughout the province has been discussed in the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC). In this meeting, members reportedly considered the implementation of SOPs in schools and precautionary measures for students and parents. Federal Minister for Education, Shafqat Mehmood will oversaw the meeting
Public Questions The Decision To Reopen Educational Institutes in Pakistan
Due to the fear of the contagious virus, many students and parents have expressed their concerns with the government’s decision. They have argued that the virus has slowed down but it is not completely eradicated. Parents seem reluctant to send their kids to schools on September 15.
Some students opined that this decision was not reasonable as the SOPs implemented wouldn’t do sufficient to prevent the density of crowd at particular places. A Twitter user gave an example of a school bus in which students are at risk in case the corridors and seats are full. According to the track record of the Federal government, students are not sure if there will be a proper implementation of SOPs.
Memes Making the News Hilarious
Just like during the virtual learning there were online class memes, the youngsters are not coming slow even now. Memers also joined the criticism to spice up the conversation. They pictured how each kind of student or teacher would react to this news or after the schools have opened. For some, it was a good decision and for some it was dangerous. They used clips from movies, dramas, and even doctored the news tickers to express their emotions.
This meme suggests if students want coronavirus to stay active so that they don’t have to go to school.
Few students might be planning some under-handed tactics to avoid attending the schools.
Some memers were worried about those students who made online classes further embarrassing. Is this how teachers will greet them back once educational institutes in Pakistan reopen.
Those who were happy with Murad Raas’s announcement wanted to greet him in the way Sheikh Rasheed’s fans greet him.
Current Coronavirus Situation In Pakistan
The government’s decision to repone educational institutes in Pakistan may seem reckless during a pandemic but it has some support from the analytical point of view. Coronavirus cases in Pakistan have been declining since June which has prompted this decision early. There have been around 300,000 cases out of which 286,000 have been recovered and around 6300 have died.
Sindh, KPK, and Balochistan have also reportedly stated to follow the federal government’s decision in this situation.