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Deadlock reached over reopening private schools on Jan 11

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood on Friday held a meeting with the representatives of private schools in Islamabad and Rawalpindi but were unable to reach a decision to reopen educational institutions.

The Private Schools Supreme Council (PSSC) leaders remained adamant on their decision to reopen educational institutions by January 11.  The delegation stressed that the government needed to understand their problems and take steps to solve them.

The delegation including Afzal Babar, Abrar Khan, Nasir Mehmood and Hafiz Basharat reached a deadlock as the minister asked more time for the government to reach a decision on the matter.

In a tweet after the meeting, the minister said the private schools association is “obviously concerned about schools closure”. He said he told them he was equally concerned. He hoped infection rates go down so that we can open all educational institutions.

Earlier, the minister said that the final decision to reopen educational institutions will be taken at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting on January 4.

The federal minister said examinations to be held in March will be postponed and summer vacations will be shortened this year but the final approval will be made by the NCOC.

A day ago, the PSSC vowed to reopen schools from January 11 in any case. The officials said that the government should announce the resumption of educational activities or else they would reopen schools without permission.

They said that educational institutions will be opened in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). They expressed doubts over the duplicity and said that hotels and markets were open but schools were shut down.