• Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:16 am

Educational institutions unlikely to reopen soon

  • Published at 07:16 pm September 29th, 2020
School
File photo: Students in a classroom Mahmud Hosaain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Education Minister Dipu Moni is expected to make an announcement in this regard on Wednesday

Amid many uncertainties, the government is set to yet again extend the closure of all educational institutions, except Qawmi madrasas, across Bangladesh due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The previously announced closure of educational institutions is scheduled to end on October 3. 

Education Minister Dipu Moni is expected to make an announcement about extending the closure of educational institutions, and the government position on holding Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) exams, in a virtual dialogue with journalists scheduled for Wednesday.


Also Read - Dhaka schools: To open or not to open?


The HSC and equivalent exams were scheduled to start on April 1, but the exam was deferred because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sources at the Education Ministry said the closure may extend from 15 to 30 days in light of the ongoing pandemic in the country.


Also Read - Dhaka schools: To open or not to open?


The government closed all educational institutions in Bangladesh from March 17 and the closure has been extended seven times so far till October 3. Experts say the situation is not yet under control in Bangladesh. 

Mr Md Akram Al Hossain, senior secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, said the current situation is not yet favourable for reopening educational institutions. 

He said a decision will be taken after consulting with the Ministry of Education in this regard.


Also Read - Covid-19 pandemic: How other countries are reopening schools


Cabinet Division Secretary, Khandker Anwarul Islam, said on Monday that the division will provide suggestions if any concerned ministry seeks suggestions from the division or from the prime minister. 

“Ministries will make decisions in their concerned sectors and the authorities will take necessary measures into their consideration. But if someone needs any suggestions or ruling from the cabinet or the prime minister, we will consider that,” he said. 


Also Read - Why should schools in Bangladesh reopen next month?


Education Minister Dipu Moni on Tuesday said decisions on educational institutions and on holding HSC exams will be announced shortly. 

“The decision will be taken based on proposals from the ministry's technical committee and suggestions from the Health Ministry,” she said.

Plan for containing Covid-19 transmission on school premises

Earlier in August, the government finalised a plan for reopening schools, which would be implemented 15 days prior to the reopening of the institutions.

As per the plan, schools would have to be cleaned 15 days before reopening and everyone would have to wear masks and wash hands before entering the school premises.

People with high body temperature will not be allowed to enter the school and measures will be in place to maintain physical distancing in classes according to the plan. 


Also Read - Ministry: Closure of educational institutions likely to be extended


The guideline prepared by the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, says teachers, students, and staff who are ill, and pregnant female teachers and staff, do not need to come to school after reopening. 

The schedule of the school, including opening time, closing time, and midday mealtimes, should be arranged in such a manner that it does not create a crowd of students and their guardians.

Only two students will be allowed to sit on each long bench in the classroom.


Also Read - Children in rural Bangladesh suffering with no schools amid Covid-19 pandemic


There will be no internal gathering until normalcy is restored and no one will go out unless it is essential during school.

What will happen to O, A Level exams?

The government has approved British Council to administer Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations in October and November. Students have reservations concerning this decision.

The Secondary and Higher Education Division of the government approved holding exams with certain conditions, including maintaining health protocols like six feet of distance between examinees at all times, and sanitisation of the venues.

Over 5,000 students have registered to sit for the exams this year.


Also Read - Government allows O Level, A Level exams to be held in Oct-Nov


A Level exams under Cambridge International are scheduled to start on October 1. Exams under Pearson Edexcel are scheduled to begin on October 5.

Edexcel’s O Level exams are scheduled to start on November 2 while the exams under Cambridge International are scheduled to start on November 5.

A writ petition has been filed with the High Court this week seeking a stay order on O Level and A Level examinations scheduled for this year.

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