Government to take decision after all students are vaccinated
The government is planning to reopen educational institutions of the country in phases from September.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Medical Education (DGME) has proposed reopening all medical colleges from August 21.
Letters in this regard were sent to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for final approval on Monday.
Asking to remain anonymous, a top official of the Ministry of Education said the government wants to complete the vaccination of public university students and staff by the end of this month so that university halls and campuses may start reopening from September.
The vaccination of students of private universities is lagging behind, and the government wants to conclude the process within the next two months, the official added.
Following the reopening of universities, the government will reopen colleges, secondary, primary, and pre-primary schools in phases, he added.
Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel told Dhaka Tribune: "We are hoping to complete the vaccination of students and bring the Covid-19 infection rate under control by the end of the month. If we can do that, we can reopen educational institutions on a limited scale.”
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DGHS Director (Medical Education) Dr AKM Ahsan Habib said it has been proposed that medical colleges be reopened on August 21 for in-person practical and professional examinations. All medical students have been vaccinated.
Online classes will continue, he added.
Dr Mohammad Shahidullah, head of the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19, said the government can take the decision to reopen educational institutions at any time after all students have been vaccinated, but they should also keep the infection rate in consideration.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), around 80,000 public university students have received their first doses of vaccines, while over 2,000 students have received their second doses, so far.
On February 22, Education Minister Dipu Moni announced that 130,000 residential students at public universities would be vaccinated by May 17. However, the authorities could not complete the vaccination within the stipulated time for various reasons, including issues related to national identity cards (NIDs).
Educational institutions, including schools, colleges, and universities, have remained closed since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest extension to the closures is set to continue till August 31.