Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas just took to Twitter to announce that no decision has been made on the closure of educational institutions in today’s Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference. He added that all possible options were discussed, but no immediate decision has been taken so far. Moreover, the next meeting to further review the COVID-19 situation and the positivity rates in schools and universities will be held next Monday i.e. 23 Nov 2020.
No decision made on closure of Schools in Punjab today. Next meeting will be on Monday 23rd November, 2020 for further review of the COVID 19 situation. All options are being discussed. No immediate decision for now.
— Murad Raas (@DrMuradPTI) November 16, 2020
The meeting today was called to discuss whether, in the light of the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 in Pakistan, schools, colleges, and universities should be closed with immediate effect. Closure of these institutes would essentially have resulted in an extended winter vacation of sorts, with classes across all educational institutions conduced in online/distance learning mode.
However, as it happened, after discussing “all options”, it was agreed in today’s conference that schools in Punjab would not be closed down right away. The situation shall be monitored closely, however, and another meeting has been arranged for Monday 23rd November, 2020 to further review the situation.
On Friday, Murad Raas explained in an interview that he believes that Punjab has the coronavirus pandemic under control and that the government is doing a “fine” job of handling the situation. He said that Punjab is the only province strictly following the SOPs, and that in the absence of concrete data, there was no need to rush the closure of schools.
“I am sending my children to school too and I think the government took the right decision by reopening the schools,” he said. “I think we are doing fine and there should be no winter vacation either. Unless there are concrete numbers available, it’s not right to make a drastic decision.”