- Schools should absolutely be last in the line to close, Murad Raas says.
- Every activity should be stopped before closing schools, Raas says.
- IPEMC will meet next week to decide the fate of schools.
Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas on Thursday spoke about the closure of schools in the country amid speculations that the educational institutions might be shut down due to rising coronavirus cases.
“For all the inquirers whether Schools are closing or NOT? In my opinion, every other activity especially social activity has to be stopped before schools,” the education minister said in a tweet.
The meeting of education ministers from across Pakistan scheduled for today to decide whether schools should stay open or not was put off shortly before its commencement. The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) is scheduled for next week now.
The Punjab education minister noted that schools should absolutely be last in the line to close, as the learning losses of the children in the last two years have been unimaginable.
It is pertinent to mention that the National Command and Operations Centre’s (NCOC) data showed Thursday morning that in the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported more than 3,000 coronavirus cases for the first time since September 15, 2021.
The NCOC data showed that the country registered 3,019 more cases in the last 24 hours, taking the overall infections’ tally to 1.31 million. The positivity ratio has reached 6.12% — the highest in more than four months, as the infection rate was last above it on September 8, 2021.
Federal government differs
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had on Tuesday said Pakistan would not undergo another lockdown and dismissed reports of schools’ closure amid rising coronavirus cases.
The information minister, addressing a post-cabinet press conference, said the federal cabinet was informed that the COVID-19 positivity ratio had doubled in the country.
“But despite this, it is our resolve that we absolutely not impose a lockdown in Pakistan. Our economy cannot bear the burden [of another lockdown],” he said.