National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) says that winter holidays at educational institutions will begin on January 3, 2022, except in areas afflicted by harsh weather or smog.
The decision was made following a meeting with key stakeholders, which was headed by Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar. The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister of Education Shafqat Mehmood and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan.
NCOC says the Provincial entities will be notified of the winter vacation timetable.
The Sindh government has previously stated that all educational institutions will be closed from December 20 to January 3.
Previously, the NCOC and the federal education ministry appeared to disagree on when winter vacations should begin, with the former recommending that vacations begin in the middle of January at a meeting on Wednesday, a day after the federal education minister announced holidays would begin on December 25.
“Federal and provincial secretaries met today [Tuesday]. The agreed proposal was that winter holidays should be from Dec 25 to Jan 4. Further notifications will be made by the governments concerned,” Shafqat Mahmood had tweeted on Tuesday.
The NCOC, on the other hand, said in its most recent statement that the decision to start holidays on January 3 was made to maximise vaccination uptake among students in educational institutions, which could be best done while schools were open.
It raised concern that millions of pupils were still unvaccinated, despite evidence that youngsters might be at risk of Covid-19 infection.
“Parents are urged to get their children vaccinated at the earliest to protect them and those around them.”
According to the NCOC, it is advised to plan winter holidays in Pakistan in January to correspond with a possible increase in cases.
” This will allow for minimal disruption of educational calendars if there is a surge in cases.”
The conference encouraged all residents to have a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine. “Complete vaccination offers the highest protection against the disease,” it stressed.
Meanwhile, students have begun organizing a social media movement to seek early vacations. The federal education minister was once again the subject of a barrage of memes on social media, with students requesting him for early winter holidays.