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Schools, colleges reopened

KARACHI, Aug 9: All public and private educational institutions, including colleges, open on Thursday (Aug 9), officials in the provincial education department confirmed on Wednesday.

The authorities had earlier announced curtailment of the summer vacations in schools by one week (from Aug 16 to Aug 9) which had given the impression that the move was aimed solely at enabling managements of schools to prepare their students for the Independence Day celebrations.

However, a senior official pointed out that the decision was applicable to all educational institutions and not to schools alone.

According to an official statement, principals of all colleges have already been directed to ensure the presence of the teaching and non-teaching staff and attendance of students at colleges.

Regional directors (colleges) and the director (inspection) in Sindh have also been told to visit colleges to ensure resumption of the academic activities in all colleges.

"The earlier announcement had created some misunderstanding among managements of the educational institutions and the general public. This prompted us to make a clear-cut announcement about the reopening of colleges," Dr Rafique Ahmed Siddiqui, director-general (colleges), Sindh, said.

Official sources attributed the misunderstanding about the reopening of colleges along with schools to the recent bifurcation of the education department by Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim through which he drastically curtailed the powers of the Minister for Education, Dr Hamida Khuhro. The minister's portfolio has now been restricted to college education.

Though a formal notification issued immediately after Dr Khuhro was deprived of certain powers officially confirmed the bifurcation of her department, there was confusion about the advancement of vacations in colleges by a week and it was expected that the education department would issue a separate statement in this regard.

"Managements and students of colleges were not sure about the advancement because the announcement was made by the education department jurisdiction of which was restricted to schools. There was no word from the department handling the college affairs," admitted a senior official.

Many people made telephone calls to media offices to find out if colleges will also reopen on Thursday.

The officials concerned have, meanwhile, held out the assurance that such anomalies would be taken care of in the future, and stated that classes for the second year would formally start on Thursday. Dawn
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