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Pakistan delays reopening of schools, colleges to Jan 18 – Times of India

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday delayed the planned phased reopening of educational institutions to January 18, as 1,895 new coronavirus cases were reported in the country in the last 24 hours.

With the new cases, Pakistan’s COVID-19 caseload stands at 488,529, according to official data. In the last 24 hours, 39 people have died due to coronavirus-related complications. The virus death toll is 10,350.

There are 35,722 active COVID-19 cases in the country, while 442,457 people have recovered from the disease.

After a near-five month break due to the coronavirus outbreak, Pakistan in September last year began reopening schools and colleges, in view of the falling number of new coronavirus cases.

However, a second virus wave led to all education institutions getting closed on November 25. The institutions were to reopen on January 11 but now the reopening has been delayed by a week.

After chairing a meeting with provincial education ministers on Monday, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told the media that in the first phase standard IX to XII students would resume classes from January 18.

In the next phase, students of classes I to VIII would return to schools from January 25. All higher education institutions would resume from February 1.

However, Mahmood said a meeting with the ministers would be held on January 14 or 15 to evaluate the situation before the official reopening takes place.

Board examinations which are customarily held in March and April are expected to be held in May and June.

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