The Chairman of All Sindh Private Schools and Colleges Association Haider Ali has demanded the Provincial Education Minister to resume educational activities at schools soon after the current lockdown.

Ali in his statement has said that the new academic year that was starting on August 2 should be commenced from August 9. Also, a new semester should be started from August 9 in universities across Sindh.

He said that the future of university students is in jeopardy due to the loss of two years consecutively. For the third year in a row, an unimaginable academic loss cannot be tolerated by the private education sector.

Mentioning the official statistics, Ali maintained that from 70 to 80 percent of the staffers have been vaccinated. But the future of more than 15 million students of Sindh is still at risk due to repeated closures of educational institutions. Therefore, classes and on-campus activities should be started in public and private schools with SPs and 50 percent attendance.

The schedule of ninth and tenth classes for practical examinations should be issued so that the remaining intermediate papers and practical examinations in Sindh could be completed on time. Also, the students would wait for their results to get admission to varsities. However, the closure of educational institutions and suspension of annual exams would further delay the announcement of results.

Ali pointed out that the number of out-of-school children in Sindh has increased from 4 million to 6 million. The reason behind the increased number of OOSC is the closure of schools during the Covid-19. At least 30 percent of children in schools have dropped out of school. Also, some of the low-fee private schools have closed operations for good because the owners of those schools could not tolerate the unexpected financial crisis. There is an urgent need to work on bringing OOSC back to schools.

The financial loss was huge, but the government provided no monetary assistance to the administrators of those schools. The federal and provincial governments should immediately announce a simple and workable loan scheme for private educational institutions.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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