With the imminent general elections in Pakistan, the Punjab government, led by Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, has announced the temporary closure of all educational institutions in the province.
The decision, applicable to both public and private schools, colleges, and universities, spans from February 6th to 9th, coinciding with the official election period. Chief Minister Naqvi emphasized the need for a smooth and secure electoral process, encouraging the active participation of teachers and students in their civic duty.
Important Update: In view of the upcoming general elections on 8th February, Provincial Cabinet has approved that all public and private sector schools, colleges, and universities in Punjab will be closed from Feb 6th to Feb 9th.
9:30 am timing for schools will only be observed…
— Mohsin Naqvi (@MohsinnaqviC42) January 31, 2024
This move follows a series of modifications to the academic calendar due to severe weather conditions. Initially beginning its winter break on December 18, 2023, schools in Punjab extended the break until January 9, 2024, as cold weather persisted. Adjustments in school timings, starting at 9:30 am, were implemented from January 10 to 22, addressing challenges posed by the cold and smoggy weather conditions.
In light of the election-related closure, Caretaker Chief Minister Naqvi announced adjustments to school timings, with the 9:30 am opening limit observed until February 3. Regular school timings will resume subsequently. The decision to modify school schedules aims to facilitate logistical arrangements and free up space for polling stations, contributing to a more efficient electoral process.
Additionally, the provincial government had previously postponed exams for grades 1-10 following the tragic death of 36 children due to pneumonia. An emergency meeting at Lahore’s Children’s Hospital, led by Naqvi, resulted in the suspension of classes for students in grade one and below for an additional week. These measures underscore the government’s commitment to prioritizing the well-being of students and ensuring a conducive academic environment.
As of February 1, the Punjab government has reinstated regular timings for schools, marking the end of winter timings on January 31, 2024. Following the temporary schedule adjustments due to intense cold weather, schools will now commence from 8 am to 2:30 pm, in compliance with government directives.
The notification further delineates specific timings for boys’ and girls’ schools, emphasizing the importance of adherence by educational authorities. This resumption of regular timings aims to bring stability to the academic calendar and ensure a smooth transition back to normalcy in the educational sector.