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Theaters and cinemas take priority over schools in Pakistan

Malik Sheryar Munawar 03:09 PM | 11 Aug, 2020
Theaters and cinemas take priority over schools in Pakistan

While the world is struggling to be back to the new normal after a devastating hit of COVID-19, Pakistan is no different where coronavirus outspread caused hundreds of businesses to closed down and leaving thousands of employees without a job. The economic pressure had put Pakistan in an undesirable situation where lockdown is preferable to break the chain of virus spread and simultaneously lifting the lockdown is most desired by the nation to save themselves from hunger. 

The government was forced to discontinue the lockdown in the last days of May 2020 amid Eid shopping. After that, the nation saw the worst side of the pandemic so far when the COVID-19 cases spiked in days due to excessive unnecessary gatherings in shopping malls and street markets, which made the government put the country in strict lockdown once again. 

During July 2020 Dr. Zafar Mirza, SAPM on health had announced an eighty percent decrease in the cases of coronavirus which made people believe that the virus is no more. Recently, Asad Umar who chairs the National Command and Operations Centre announced an ease in the lockdown of various businesses which has allowed cinemas, theaters, tourism, and restaurants to operate under strict SOPs. Whereas, banquet halls and schools are to be open from 15th September but a reconsideration meeting will be held on 7th September, to decide the future of education only. 

Unlike the UK, where prime minister Boris Johnson had pleaded that he might consider locking down all other activities to make the schools opening safe and USA president Donald Trump stressed to open up schools, the situation in Pakistan is quite disappointing. 

The country that is far behind the world and lacks in providing free education to its children has declared to open up all the non-mandatory activities of the country and leaving education to the last priority in the list. Within three days of ease in the lockdown, we have seen the number of COVID-19 cases to increase once again. People, who were dying to get their businesses open and were facing a severe financial crunch, seemed to be waiting for the tourism to open and spend whatever they are left with. Videos and photos were shared all over social media showing flocks of people blocking roads due to excessive traffic jams at famous tourist destinations like Murree and Kalam. Sadly, the majority of people were not seen wearing a face mask too. This situation is quite alarming when considering Muharram ul Haram is just coming up ahead where people gather in great numbers to perform their religious duties. 

In my opinion, we should strive for long term fruits for our nation. Education is the only tool that may help our crippling country to stand tall with other nations of the world. Tourism has always been linked with children's school holidays. As we know that schools are off, therefore the probability of taking children for a tourist destination is likely more than normal. This is exactly what happened recently that all families despite the COVID-19 outbreak had taken their children for a ride in hills because they are free from schools. Opening of tourism must be linked with schools opening so that fewer number of people across provincial borders. 

Furthermore, the government should also be thinking to try smart opening of schools. There are areas in every city where COVID-19 cases have almost become zero. Schools in those areas must be opened to get education back on track once again. Children in almost 95 percent of the schools, go from a radius of about 1-2 kilometers from their schools. Which is a positive measure to keep the spread of virus intact instead of making these people visit different cities or gather in a restaurant for hours coming from various areas at one time? The government had already promoted all students in the next classes without taking examinations this year and if the current situation continues and the spread of virus takes a boost once again, I am afraid that the education will be left far behind for our country and promoting students once again will not at all be a wise decision to make. 

The writer is the owner of a private school in Lahore Cantt.

Malik Sheryar Munawar
Malik Sheryar Munawar

The writer is the owner of a private school in Lahore Cantt.

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 4, 2023 (Saturday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.9 283.2
Euro EUR 300.98 301.58
UK Pound Sterling GBP 337.01 337.71
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.14 75.44
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.55 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 189 192
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.72 720.69
Canadian Dollar CAD 200 202.2
China Yuan CNY 39.67 39.73
Danish Krone DKK 39.33 39.73
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 878 887
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.79 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.30

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 205,200 on Saturday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,930.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Karachi PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Islamabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Peshawar PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Quetta PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sialkot PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Attock PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujranwala PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Jehlum PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Multan PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Bahawalpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujrat PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nawabshah PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Chakwal PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Hyderabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nowshehra PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sargodha PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Faisalabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Mirpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430

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