The All Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation (APPSF) has rebelled against the Sindh government’s decision to close schools for an indefinite period. The association has announced that schools would begin “outdoor classes” from Monday, August 23 in defiance of the government order.
The Sindh government, on the other hand, has threatened action against schools if they defy government orders.
Private school’s owners said they were ready to face the risk of being arrested or having their schools sealed. They also plan to hold demonstrations at 9 am on Monday, according to Tariq Shah, who represents the All Private Schools Management Association (APSMA) Sindh.
The announcement came a day after the Singh government notified that all public and private schools would stay closed “until further orders.”
The APSMA has circulated an invitation for the protest under the heading “Save the Education Movement”.
The invitation making rounds over the internet announces an outdoor schooling event at the KDA Chowrangi and urges school administrators, teachers, parents, and students to gather at 9 am on Monday, August 23.
Parents support decision
The APPSF leader Kashif Mirza told Samaa TV that the association had made the decision after a host of consultations with it various allied organizations.
“Children in the Sindh province have an equal right to education,” he said referring to the fact that schools had opened in other provinces from August 2.
Miraz said private schools in Sindh would open from August 23 and “we are ready to accept the risk of being arrested or having our schools sealed.”
He said in the event schools were sealed by the authorities, classes would be held outdoors.
Mirza was how schools were to conduct outdoor classes as Karachi experienced hot weather and the limited outdoor space was to make it difficult to follow Covid-related SOPs. He claimed most of the parents supported the decision. He said recent surveys showed that 93% of parents wanted the schools to reopen.
Mirza said the schools’ owners association was to hold a protest march on Monday evening and parents were expected to attend.
President All Pakistan Private Schools and Colleges Association Malik Abrar Hussain said parents in Karachi were demanding that schools be reopened. He said schools in other provinces successfully followed the SOPs and no “untoward incident” had been reported.
Reacting to the announcement, the Sindh education department said the government will act against schools if they defy government orders. It said registrations of such schools could be cancelled.
The government issued as statement addressed to principals and administrators of private school to remind that they were required to keep the school shut until further orders. The statement also reiterated that teaching and non-teaching must be vaccinated.
Earlier, Sindh Minister Taimur Talpur agreed that classes were possible in the open if schools management could maintain a distance of six feet between pupils. Speaking to Samaa TV, he urged private schools’ owners to discuss the future course of action with the government.
They should not make unilateral decisions, he said.