Schools and colleges will be shut down again if infections rise, the minister says
Strict actions will be taken against any education institute that fails to comply with the government directives on reopening of schools and colleges, says Education Minister Dipu Moni.
“We cannot compromise with students’ health under any circumstances,” she told the media at Jamalpur Circuit House on Saturday.
“Schools and colleges will be closed again if infections rise,” she said before adding that infections are unlikely to rise if health guidelines are followed.
“If any student or their family is infected or shows symptoms, they don’t have to attend classes,” she said.
Her remarks came after Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Friday that his ministry will recommend shutting down schools in case of a spike in coronavirus cases.
Schools and colleges in Bangladesh are set to open after nearly 18 months on Sunday.
The authorities have issued guidelines as part of preparations to reopen the schools after the extended closure.
The Primary Education Directorate asked the upazila education officers to inspect the schools under their jurisdiction within a week and instructed the institutions to keep the premises neat and clean.
The Directorate of Secondary & Higher Education (DSHE) has also asked the regional directors to make necessary preparations to reopen schools and colleges.
According to Education Ministry sources most teachers and staffers of the educational institutions have been vaccinated.
The government decided to resume in-person classes in view of the Covid-19 infection rate gradually dropping in the country.
Education Minister Dipu Moni said that initially SSC and HSC examinees of 2020-2021, and the students of fifth standard will attend classes regularly while the students of grades 1-4 and 6-9 will attend classes once a week initially.
Education institutes were shut down across the country on March 17 last year after the country reported its first Covid-19 cases on March 8.
The pandemic-related school closures in the country affected about 38 million students though the government introduced TV-based learning programmes for them.