Amid a rise in coronavirus infections across the province, the Sindh government decided to shut down the schools to stem the spread of the infection – a decision that irked the private schools associations. The government had reimposed restrictions after the positivity ratio crossed 10 per cent and closed schools and other sectors from July 26. According to reports, the school bodies will meet on Monday to decide the future court of action. They urged the government to chalk out a clear policy regarding the educational institutions as they were about to start their new academic year in August. Aleem Qureshi of the grand alliance of private school associations said “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the academic year is being affected for the third consecutive year. The Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 should consult stakeholders instead of making unilateral decisions,” he reportedly said. “Closing the schools and colleges is not the solution as it is the time for new admissions,” he said, adding the government can copy the Punjab model where schools have been closed till July 31 to curb the coronavirus spread. He said that at least 80% of the staffers of private schools were vaccinated and added private schools had been strictly following COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). The shutdown of schools will result in an increase in the number of out-of-school children. The number has already been increased from four million to six million during the last two years, he remarked. He said that an emergency meeting of all provincial private school associations will be held on July 26 to discuss the future action plan. He said they will not close schools as per the orders, adding that if shops and factories could remain open, then why were the authorities wanting to close the educational institutions.