ISLAMABAD: The Federal Education Ministry has ordered private education schools in the federal capital to slash their fees by 20% due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The order came in a notification issued on Monday. Following the order by the ministry, a notification was also issued by the Private Education Institutions Regulatory Authority directing schools to reduce their fees by 20 percent for April and May.

The notification said that the order will apply to institutions charging fees of Rs8,000 or more from students.

“In response to the demand for fee waiver during school closure,” tweeted the Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, “it has been decided to give 20% reduction in fee starting from April till the schools reopening. This is applicable to all schools in Islamabad charging over Rs8000 per month fee.”

On Tuesday, Punjab University also announced a 20 percent fee reduction; currently the university is closed for in-person classes due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. Apart from fee concession, the online classes that were scheduled to commence from May 6, have also been postponed.

The spokesperson of the university said that online classes at the university have been postponed due to the Eidul Fitr holidays. Meanwhile, the local students have been directed to vacate the hostel from May 5 and only international students are allowed to stay at the hostels.

Third-wave

The notification came on Monday as Pakistan recorded 79 coronavirus deaths and 4,213 cases in the past 24 hours, and reported a positivity rate of over 9.1 percent amid no let-up in the infections.

During the past 24 hours, 24 people died on ventilators, while 5,377 are in a critical state in hospitals across Pakistan, reported the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). At least 670 ventilators are occupied by coronavirus patients across Pakistan.

The coronavirus death toll in Pakistan has reached 18,149 with the latest fatalities. Sindh has so far reported 4,667 deaths, including 6 in past 24 hours; Punjab has so far reported 8,572 deaths, including 19 in the past 24 hours; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the highest deaths in the past 24 hours, 42 deaths, taking the total tally to 3,392; Azad Kashmir has reached 483 deaths with six new fatalities, whereas no deaths were reported in Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.

45,954 tests conducted on 2 May across Pakistan. Sindh conducted 16,469 tests; Punjab: 16,307; KP: 7,794; Islamabad: 3,815; Balochistan: 558; GB: 385; and AJK: 626.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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