Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood late Sunday night said that universities that are not reopening on Monday despite government permission should “reconsider”.
Mehmood said that “online lessons, however good, are no substitute for on campus classes”.
The minister said that with interactions between students and all the university staff members on campus “mould social behaviour” and so the varsities that have decided to remain closed really “should reconsider”.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), after a detailed discussion with all stakeholders on February 27, decided that educational institutions shall resume all remaining classes — at the primary, middle and university level — on February 1.
The forum decided that students in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore and Peshawar would attend classes with 50% strength on alternate days.
The forum has decided to reopen the education sector with strict recommendations of staggered classes for three days a week in the urban centres, in light of the higher coronavirus positivity ratio reported there.
However, universities would resume operations as per the usual schedule.
The forum was informed that globally, the disease trend had witnessed a hike after the complete reopening of the education sector, therefore the approach to cut down the attendance on a given day would help in reducing the resurgence of the contagion.
It was also informed that vaccination centres have been established all across the country, wherein staff trainings and other arrangements have been completed to kick-start coronavirus inoculation.
The decision to reopen schools comes amid a worsening coronavirus situation both domestically and internationally.