China provides 'vital guidance' to Pakistan as educational institutions reopen
by Shafqat Ali
Islamabad, Sep. 16 (Gwadar Pro) - Iron Brother China is providing 'vital guidance' to Pakistan as it reopens the educational institutions across the country, a senior cabinet member said.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood is visiting schools for SOP checking after 187 days on the occasion of eradication of coronavirus. [Photo/ Pervez Mughal]
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told Gwadar Pro that Pakistan had been seeking suggestions from the all-weather friend China as Beijing had more experience after defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.
After overcoming the COVID-19 with an extraordinary determination, China returned millions of children to schools to resume normal education.
"We have done great (against the pandemic) but we don't have resources like China. Even before we announced reopening of the educational institutions (on September 15), we benefitted from China's expertise. Their inputs can be termed vital guidance," he said.
On Tuesday, schools, colleges, universities, and madrassas across Pakistan reopened after almost six months’ lockdown due to the coronavirus.
The educational institutes are being opened in phases. Universities, colleges, and class IX and X resumed from September 15. The students from class VI to VIII will be called to schools from September 23 and the students enrolled below class VI will be called in from September 30.
Welcome back to school. [Photo/ Pervez Mughal]
“Let us welcome our children and students on the first day of the opening of educational institutions,” said Dr Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to PM on health on Twitter. “Please don’t forget basic protective steps. Masks, reduced density in classes, hand hygiene. Parents, school administrators, teachers, students – all together.”
All educational institutions across the country were closed in late February after coronavirus cases had spiked. According to reports, the cases are on a downward trend now.
To compensate for the lost time, Pakistan’s educational institutions have 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 headed by Shafqat Mahmood.
The turnout has been pretty low as some schools issued instructions to students to attend classes in groups. This has been done to ensure that students are able to practice social distancing.
At many schools, desks have been set up for the thermal screening of all the students, teachers and other staff members. Sanitizers have been installed and kept at different places to ensure that everyone keeps sanitizing their hands.
Many educational institutes had moved to online classes to ensure that the learning of the students is not hampered by the lockdown. Holding classes on Zoom, a video and audio communication app, had its share of problems and some parents were not entirely comfortable with it.
Shafqat Mahmood said like all other sectors, China had been supporting Pakistan in the field of the education.
China, he said, always helped Pakistan in difficult times and was establishing around 50 vocational centers in Pakistan to overcome poverty by equipping the youth with technical skills.
Shafqat Mahmood said that China was time-tested friend of Pakistan and lauded its support in resolving the current challenges being faced by the country.
"Pakistan and China have long-lasting relations, which were now deepening and strengthening with the passage of time. People to people connection of both the countries were good,” he said.
The minister said Pakistan had to learn a lot from the experiences of China. The minister appreciated that China had achieved the target of pulling out its 100 million people out of the poverty since last 40 years.
"We are taking advantage of China's friendship. They are very highly supportive and we can progress with their help," the minister said.