Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah announced on Monday that schools that had vaccinated 100 per cent of their staff against COVID-19 would be allowed to open from August 30.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi after meeting with representatives of private schools’ associations, the minister said 80 percent of staff at private institutions had been vaccinated.
He said children would only be allowed to go back to school if their parents are vaccinated, adding that the parents would have to submit their vaccination certificates from the National Database and Registration Authority.
“A child coming from one household could be a carrier,” he said, adding that children were also contracting coronavirus.
He said schools would reopen with 50 percent attendance and for six days a week. “Random PCR tests will also be carried out at the schools,” he added.
Several households suffer when there is a positive case at a school, he said.
Shah said that the private schools’ associations had also made the demand for vaccinated staff to be allowed to come in and plan lessons for the upcoming week. “So, we have allowed that teaching and non-teaching staff that is vaccinated can be called in from tomorrow to prepare for next week,” he continued.
He said the decision to extend the closure of schools by a week was taken in light of the advice given by the provincial health department.
“The media incorrectly portrayed as if the chief minister took the decision without any consultations,” he said, adding that the decision was taken in an effort to increase the vaccination rate.
“If the schools were opened, the vaccination rate would have slowed,” he said.
He said the thought behind the decision was to increase vaccination among parents and staff so that schools could finally open.