Three quarters of the primary-secondary student body, as well as their guardians, say they want to return to their classes
Are students excited about returning to their classrooms? About 75% of the country's primary and secondary students want to return to classes as soon as possible, as revealed in a study.
The same study shows that 76% of guardians are also in favour of a reopening of schools.
These findings have emerged through a research study conducted by Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE). The results of the survey were released at an online press conference on Tuesday.
Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of CAMPE, presented the research findings.
The non-governmental education alliance has suggested that the government should announce a specific plan on reopening schools, step by step, in compliance with health guidelines.
About 91% of teachers hope that parents will make students aware of the habit of following health safety protocols. And 73% of district education officers provided positive feedback in favour of a reopening of schools.
According to the study, 58% of teachers and 52% of upazila education officers said they needed to open the schools cautiously. About 82% of the teachers emphasized the importance of using masks, sanitizers and ensuring physical distances, in accordance with proper hygiene rules, before reopening schools.
Data were collected from 2,992 respondents for the survey. Of them, 1,709 were students, 578 were teachers, 576 were guardians, district and upazila primary and secondary officers. The survey was conducted in 21 upazilas of eight districts from eight divisions of the country.
At the time, it was reported that more than 62% of the teachers felt that the syllabus needed to be shortened in order to compensate the students.
Classes should run thrice a week
Tareq Ahmed, a lecturer at Dhaka Residential Model College, while talking to Dhaka Tribune, said the sooner the government provided a shortened syllabus, the sooner teachers could take to teaching.
If students of different classes were going to schools in phases 2-3 days a week, then it is possible to manage Covid-19, as per health guidelines, he said.
“We have been conducting online exams and classes from the very beginning,” said Tareq Ahmed.
He said: “I stayed at my village for some time and saw that many have started coaching classes. Parents are pressuring us to take coaching classes in Dhaka, fearing a halt to a continuation of studies.”
Educational institutions in Bangladesh have remained closed since March 17, 2020. How and when schools reopen is a major concern. Stakeholders think that it will be a good decision if educational institutions reopen in February, to restore continuity in the academic and mental growth of students.
Isfaq Mahi is a first year intermediate student (HSC) of Notre Dame College. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he has been studying online from his home district of Kushtia. His whole family lives there, which is why he did not start hire any hostel or house in Dhaka.
Mahi told Dhaka Tribune: “I believe that educational institutions should be reopened. However, I also know that it will be a bit of a problem for those who are outside Dhaka. But we have been away from traditional classroom education for almost a year.”
Mahi's mother, Israt Ara Begum, a college teacher in Kushtia, thinks that students are not getting proper education online. “Since almost all types of institutions have started their activities, on a limited scale, it is time to open school and colleges.”
Teachers, parents, and students of different schools and colleges in Dhaka think that educational institutions should reopen soon, but in phases.
Kazi Keya, a guardian whose ward is in Dhaka Residential Model College, said: “My son is an SSC candidate; he is taking exams and classes online but I feel that he is losing focus.”
“When schools open, I will send my son to school one day after another,” she added.