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Teachers In Northwestern Pakistan Protest Against School Closures

FILE: Students in a crowded school in Mingora, Swat.
FILE: Students in a crowded school in Mingora, Swat.

Hundreds of private schoolteachers rallied in the northwestern Pakistani region of Swat on August 17 to demand an immediate reopening of schools that were closed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Last week, the federal government announced that schools will reopen from September 15, but the protesting teachers said there was no point in keeping the schools closed while the nationwide lockdown had already been lifted.

Police arrested several school principals in Swat for opening their schools on August 15.

Earlier this month, the Pakistani government lifted the lockdown that had been imposed on cities in mid-March but decided to keep educational institutions closed.

Private school owners complain that the closure is affecting their business and wasting the academic time of students.

Hundreds of teachers have lost their jobs since March, they say.