Millions of students returned to class on Tuesday as Pakistan reopened some higher education institutions, ending a six-month-long break due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the first phase, all higher education institutions – from class IX to XII and above – resumed classes from Tuesday, the education ministry announced.
Secondary schools will reopen in the second phase and primary schools will resume in the third phase.
Masks are mandatory for all students and teachers, according to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government.
The administration must ensure the availability of sanitisers at the gate, the government’s guidelines said.
There will be no morning assembly and the temperature of the students will be checked before entering the classrooms.
In addition, students must ensure a safe distance between chairs in classrooms.
Federal education minister Shafqat Mehmood, during a visit to a college in Islamabad’s G-6/3 area, hailed the reopening of schools amid the pandemic.
He was hopeful that SOPs will be implemented and warned that institutions that do not follow the government’s guidelines will be closed for non-compliance.
Pakistan had closed schools in March when the government enforced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Authorities lifted curbs on most businesses in May, but schools remained closed across the country.
On Tuesday, Pakistan reported six new deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, one of the lowest number tolls in more than five months. Pakistan has reported 302,424 infections and 6,389 deaths since the pandemic began.
(With inputs from agencies)