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Corona and our educational institutions

By: Nuzhat Khan Janjua

The damage to education and research activities caused by Corona’s global deadly and traumatic epidemic will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. In a country with a population of 22 crore, where the majority are private institutions, the suspension of educational activities has left many teachers unemployed, which has also affected the dependents, while the lack of online facilities has increased the hardships of poor students. Educational institutions across the country, which have been closed from December 24 to January 11 due to winter holidays after providing online education for the past two months, are considering a phased reopening in view of the severity of the Corona epidemic. A meeting of inter-provincial education ministers, chaired by Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood, will be held tomorrow (January 4) to decide on the opening of primary schools on January 25, middle or equivalent institutions on February 4 and higher education institutions on February 15. And it will be considered in early June. It is also suggested that summer vacations be shortened and that the next school year begin in August. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. It may be recalled that this situation was also faced last year and holidays had to be extended again and again in the light of which the Federal Minister for Education has said that the final decision to open educational institutions will be taken by the Ministry of Health and NCOC. Undoubtedly, they both have a key role to play in tackling Cove 19. Ground realities suggest that a vaccine to prevent this deadly epidemic could take up to six months to be available, so precaution is the only precautionary measure so far.

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