KARACHI: Education Minister Sindh Saeed Ghani said that the government cannot risk reopening educational institutions at this time.
He spoke to the visiting delegation of the Catholic Education Council, Karachi, in his office on Friday.
Led by Father Saleh Diego, vice chairman of the board, the delegation included Anthony D’Silva, Shameem Khurshid, Afzal Jacob, Lenny Dias and Rita Charles. Members of Sindh Assembly Naveed Anthony were also present.
Father Diego said no one wants to see more people infected with the virus and therefore needs to maintain social distance.
He also informed that schools run by the Catholic Board of Education, Karachi, followed all government directives. “But because of the closure, the institutions run by the council are also facing a financial crisis. Therefore, we can do it with financial assistance from the Sindh government or the federal government along with regular fees by parents of students studying at this educational institution, “he said.
“We understand that there is a risk of spreading the virus to children by opening educational institutions today, but if the standard operating procedures are established, we can open schools twice a day, in two shifts to accommodate all students while observing social distance. Because parents only pay for school fees when their children go to school, “he added.
In response, the minister of education said that he was well aware of the fact that private education institutions were facing a severe financial crisis because they had not been paid. “And that is why we have repeatedly appealed to parents to look after their children so as to submit fees,” he said.
There are no SOPs in the van
“But we cannot risk reopening educational institutions today. Even if the school administration implements SOPs, children come to school in school vans. There is no SOP implementation there, “he said.
He also explained that the Sindh government was not in a position to provide loans without interest and financial assistance to private educational institutions even though the federal government could do it.
Saeed Ghani further said that children from grades one through eight have been promoted to the next level while students from grades nine through 12 should be promoted.
However, amendments must be made in law in this case, which is also being carried out, he said.
He added that to discuss key points of all these issues, including details of the next academic year, a steering committee meeting from the education department would be held and an announcement would be consulted with him soon.
Published in Dawn, May 30, 2020
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