Shafqat Mehmood says school reopening conditional upon coronavirus situation

March 31, 2021 10:03 pm by Web Desk


Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood. — PID/File
  • Shafqat Mehmood says health of students is government’s top priority.
  •  We are under immense pressure from all fronts, Mehmood says.
  • “If situation worsens, we might move towards complete lockdown”.

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood said Wednesday the government is aware of the prevalent coronavirus situation in the country and would reopen educational institutions after thoroughly assessing the situation.

Speaking during Geo News’ programme “Capital Talk”, the education minister said schools and other educational institutions have been closed in Punjab, KP, Islamabad’s hotspots till April 11.

“We are under immense pressure from all fronts … private schools associations want us to reopen the schools, and parents are concerned about their children’s health,” he said.

The federal minister said closing schools was a “tough decision to make,” as education had suffered severely throughout the pandemic — especially younger children’s education.

“But we keep the health of students as the top priority,” Mehmood said.

The education minister further said if the coronavirus situation worsens in the country, the government would be compelled to enforce a lockdown in the country.

“However, the prime minister is of the view that the wealthy will not suffer, however, poor people will face a setback if we impose a complete lockdown,” he said.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s recommendation to impose a complete two-week lockdown will be discussed in the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC), Mehmood added.

Earlier, PM Imran Khan rejected the Sindh government’s recommendation to impose a “complete lockdown” across the country for two weeks.

Reacting to CM Shah’s comments, the prime minister said Pakistan cannot afford a complete lockdown, adding that the measure would adversely impact daily-wage earners across the country.


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