Role of Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas

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Naeem Kandwal
Going to school is the best public policy tool available to raise skills. While school time can be fun and can raise social skills and social awareness, from an economic point of view the primary point of being in school is that it increases a child’s ability. But unfortunately this was not possible due to this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of Educational Institutes. Most governments decided to temporarily close educational institutions in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Pakistan is one of them. As of January 2021, approximately 825 million learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. According to UNICEF monitoring, 23 countries are currently implementing nationwide closures and 40 are implementing local closures, impacting about 47 percent of the world’s student population. 112 countries’ schools    are currently open. International Educational institutes presented their suggestions. UNESCO made a very good suggestion on this. In response to school closures, UNESCO recommended the use of distance learning programmes and open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education. Pakistan is one of the countries affected by the Corona Virus. Pakistan reported 1,616 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, after which the total number of active cases stands at 33,493. The country lost 26 more souls infected with the disease in this time. The daily count of cases has remained above 1,500 for the last several weeks. The last time a figure below that was reported, was on November 7, when 1,436 cases emerged. Schools and Colleges have reopened in Pakistan especially in Punjab. Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas on Friday said that all the educational institutions across the province will be reopened from February 1, 2021. The minister shared a notification on social networking website Twitter, stating that all public and private primary and middle schools will reopen on February 1. All the universities will also commence classes on the same day, he added. According to the notification, students of all the educational institutions shall attend classes on alternative days with 50 percent ratio on any single working day. Board examinations of SSC/HSSC shall be held in the month of May, June, 2021. All the concerned shall ensure strictly implementation of SOPs already communicated time to time by the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department and School Education Department, Punjab to prevent coronavirus pandemic, it stated. Murad Raas further requested everyone to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the country. According to the notification, students of all the educational institutions shall attend classes on alternative days with 50 percent ratio on any single working day. Board examinations of SSC/HSSC shall be held in the month of May, June, 2021. All the concerned shall ensure strictly implementation of SOPs already communicated time to time by the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department and School Education Department, Punjab to prevent coronavirus pandemic, it stated. WHO praised Pakistan’s handling of Covid-19 pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Pakistan was among countries from whom the international community should learn how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. The role of Punjab Education Minister Murad Ras during the blobal pandamic is highly commendable. His vision is very revolutionary. On one occasion, Punjab Minster for Education Murad Raas has said that economic development is deeply correlated with education sector. Punjab government is bringing changes in the provincial education system aiming at setting up new standards. “Our focus has been on quality education”, the Minister said and added that use of information technology in education system and uniform curriculum are top priorities of the Punjab Education Ministry. The Punjab government is utilising latest technologies for setting the school education system on modern lines, he said. Education has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Education system in Punjab has been much better due to better planning by the provincial education department. Role of Punjab Education    countermeasures. In a similar vein, Pakistan has also experienced such a devastating crisis caused by external environmental disasters. For instance, floods in 2010 affected not only public and private property but also crops with a loss of $4.5 billion. Pakistan has also witnessed several similar crises in past such as climate change, 2005 and 2008 earthquakes, droughts in 1998 and 2004, etc. Moreover, recently in 2015, nearly all main types of natural disasters such as earthquake, drought, flood, heatwave, and cyclone, were faced by Pakistan that severely affected many businesses. Further, several businesses, due to their small size and resources constraints do not reach to the post-disaster stage. Moreover, due to the lack of enough governmental support, most MSMEs face financial decline and even go bankrupt. MSMEs have limited capability and resources to recover from such crisis, especially those operating in developing countries like Pakistan with high poverty rate, economic and political instability