B’desh not ready to reopen schools in Sep as pandemic rages

The present Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh is not conducive for reopening schools, colleges and universities in September, according to education officials.

But the government is hopeful of restarting schools in December if the coronavirus outbreak abates by then, bdnews24 quoted Akram-Al-Hossain, the secretary to the primary and mass education ministry, as saying on Sunday.

“The education minister said on Saturday that the situation isn’t right to reopen educational institutions yet. You can also understand that.

“Even now, 20-22 per cent samples are returning positive results daily. The parents will all come if the schools reopen. Why would we put them in danger? So we believe that the situation isn’t right yet.

“We think it’s better not to put the children at risk… The conditions are not right to reopen them in September,” he added.

The pandemic has halted the Higher Secondary School Certificate and equivalent examinations, which were slated for April 1, while the decision on the Junior School Certificate examinations also remains pending.

The mass education ministry sent a proposal to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on August 19, asking that the Primary Education Certificate examinations be held at schools separately rather than centrally.

But a decision is yet to be given on the matter, Secretary Akram said.

Most educational institutions have been taking classes online after they were closed on March 17 following the detection of the first coronavirus cases in the country, bdnews24 reported.

The government has extended the closure several times to August 31 but it has been repeatedly saying that the schools and colleges will reopen only after the situation improves.

The total number of infected surged past 290,000 with a fatality count of almost 4,000 in the country as of Sunday.