PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has reopened schools for a limited number of administrative and teaching staff from today to resume preparations for full reopening of educational institutions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

KP Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED) in a notification said the administrative and teaching staff will make arrangements for implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) approved for safe schooling of children.

Under the SOPs not more than five staff members will attend the primary schools and the on-duty staff of the middle schools will be less than seven. Similarly, the on-duty staff of the secondary and higher secondary schools will be less than 10.

For private schools with no online classes, not more than 10 staff members will be allowed. In case of availability of online classes, maximum 30 percent staff will be allowed. All the staff members will strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Action will be taken against teachers violating the SOPs.

Teaching staff of government schools is already attending duties even before Eidul Azha. The staff of these schools has divided duty timings. Two or three teachers remain present on duty to look after the affairs of new admissions, documentation, sanitation and preparing the schools for eventual reopening on September 15. However, implementation of the SOPs remains a challenge as no equipment was provided to any school for this purpose. The students coming for admissions and teachers had to arrange facemasks and sanitizers for themselves.

Teachers could afford to arrange safety equipment for them, but students of government schools, mostly coming from humble backgrounds, could not afford it and violation of SOPs remains a headache. In these circumstances, if the schools are reopened in full, the students may remain exposed to the danger of coronavirus.

The province has set Septem­ber 15 as the tentative date for re-opening of schools.

On Wednesday, the education ministers of the country decided that all the schools of the country will reopen on September 15. However, some private educational institutions are adamant to reopen schools from August 15.

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