Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced on Monday that all educational institutes in Pakistan will close from November 26.
The decision was taken during the National Command and Operation Centre meeting.
Mahmood said that the classes will be taken online and the term will continue till December 24. Winter vacations will commence from December 25 and last till January 10.
Exams that were to be held in December have been postponed, he said, adding that they will now be taken when classes will resume in January. Entry exams such as MDCAT will, however, be held as per schedule.
In the first week of January, the committee will meet again to assess the situation as the country continues to battle the second wave of the novel coronavirus.
The minister added that the new educational year will begin in August 2021.
When we say all educational institutions will close on Nov 26 and students will home learn, we mean ALL institutions without exception— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) November 23, 2020
Education ministers of all provinces had prepared their recommendations that were presented in the meeting.
ANNOUNCEMENT:— Murad Raas (@DrMuradPTI) November 23, 2020
All Public & Private Schools including Academies & Tuition Centers to close on 26th November 2020. All of the stated above to reopen on January 11th, 2021. Further all the details will be shared very soon InshAllah.
"The homework will be used in grading the students when they will be promoted to the next class," he said, revealing that the assignments will be based on MCQs.
Raas said that examinations for students of classes nine and 10 will be held in May and June. Exams for grades seven and eight will be taken in March.
Teachers will have to go to school premises during the vacations on Thursday and Friday.
Repeating his earlier request, he said: Khuda ka wasta (for God’s sake), if you are not sending children to schools, don’t take them to northern areas or shopping malls instead.
Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that under no circumstance will students in the province be promoted without examinations. "Examinations for classes nine and 10 will be taken in May and June."
He told the NCOC that students of grade six and onward should not be given vacations at all and schools with 72% enrollment should be closed.
To provide relief to private schools, the government should give them loans on low interests, Ghani added.
Earlier this week, Balochistan Education Minister Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind recommended that winter vacations for educational institutions should commence from December 1.
The Balochistan Secondary Education Department announced that the exams that were supposed to be held in the last week of November will now be taken after March 10, 2021.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra has said that cases in the province are rising rapidly. The decision to open or close schools will be in accordance with the decisions taken in the NCOC meeting.
For now, our aim to control cases in the provinces as soon as possible, he said.
Pakistan schools and coronavirus
All educational institutions across the country were closed late February after coronavirus cases had spiked. They were reopened in phases starting September 15.
Universities, colleges, and classes IX and X resumed from September 15. The students from classes VI to VIII were called to schools from September 23 and the students enrolled below class VI started from September 30.
To compensate for the lost time, Pakistan’s educational institutions decided that they will remain open on Saturdays and will have no winter vacations this year, according to a notification issued by the federal education ministry. This will, however, be no longer applicable.