• Thursday, Mar 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:49 am

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

File photo of students in a class room Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Online classes are lecture based and children cannot actively participate, a parent said

Students in villages are suffering in terms of studies with no physical school to go to, due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students are becoming used to waking up late, irregular reading, playing sports all day, not eating on time, and remaining busy with TV and mobile phones most of the time, which is causing anxiety among the parents.

However, the parents said that surviving with good health during Covid-19 is the main priority this year, therefore, the education of their children is less important now.

In Jessore, Touhidur Rahman, resident of Bejpara in Jessore and the father of a fourth grader at Jessore Zilla School, said: “There is no discipline among the children right now. While studying at home, they have become lazy.

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

“I can't even send him out of the house. There is no eating or drinking on time, so is the matter of sleep.”

Children are studying online from time to time, but they do not understand because it is not interactive, he said.

“Online class is lecture based; children do not have the opportunity to ask questions. Then there is slow internet network which often interrupts in the middle of the lecture,” Touhidur added.

Amir Hossain, a resident of Shankarpur area of the city, said: “The children are now suffering from depression.”

The parent said the daily lives of the children have deteriorated due to the closure of the schools. Children have lost interest in studying.

In that case, exceptions are being noticed in their bathing, eating and drinking.

Jessore Sadar Victoria Primary School Principal Jahangir Alam said: “It does not seem that the school will open very soon. We took some initiatives since the school was closed in March.”

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

“A meeting will be held at the Ministry of Education on Wednesday in this regard. A decision may come from there,” he said.

In Chandpur, teachers and guardians are in tremendous uncertainty over the future of education of the children, as all the educational institutions were closed due to Covid-19.

Firoza Akhter, a mother of an SSC student of Chandpur Govt Girls’ College, said: “My daughter was supposed to sit for her exams a long time ago, but due to the pandemic, it was stalled and now we have no idea when it will take place.”

Students usually pay attention to studies when these kinds of exams take place, but as they are sitting idle at home, no regular studies are going on, she said.

Students usually listen to the teachers more than they listen to their parents when it comes to studies. Now, due to the pandemic, they are studying from home but not listening to the parents the way they listen to the teachers.

In Kurigram, parents have requested the authorities to take steps to ensure students can participate in the examinations at schools or find some other options.

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

However, parents from the town areas want schools to remain closed until the situation becomes fully normal whereas parents from the village areas opined that schools should reopen now.

Forhad Hossain, a guardian from Sadar upazila, said: “I don’t want to send my children to school now. It would be better if the school authorities take some initiative to take the examinations in an alternative way.”

Munir Hossain, a school teacher, said: “Students from village areas are not studying at all since the schools closed. This may increase the number of dropouts. Many parents are marrying off their daughters. Boys are starting to go to work.”

“Nobody in the village areas is following the health safety guidelines anyways. So it would be better if we opened up schools,” he said.

Also Read - Educational institutions unlikely to reopen soon

In Madaripur, parents have suggested reopening schools for a few days as a trial period.

A third-grader named Ritaj said she wants to go to school as she is bored at home.

Nowrin Bhuiyan, a guardian, said: “Children’s mental stability has deterioted significantly during the lockdown. It would be better for the children if the government reopens schools.”

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