Schools, colleges reopen today after 18 months

Schools and colleges from primary to higher secondary levels reopen in the country today after a closure of about 18 months. All educational institutions remained closed due to the surge in the number of coronavirus cases since March 2020.

From today, in-person classes will be held every day of the week for the candidates of the Secondary School Certificate, Higher Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations for the 2021 and 2022 academic years and for the Class-V students.

The classes from Class I to Class IX will be held a day each week while the number of in-person classes will be increased if the coronavirus situation improves, as per the government decision.

However, educational institutions in flood-affected areas will not reopen today, according to the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education.

Students finally return to school in Bangladesh after a gap of one and a half year
Students finally return to school in Bangladesh after a gap of one and a half year

The DSHE director general Professor Syed Md Golam Faruk confirmed on Wednesday that both online and in-person classes would continue from today.

Mask wearing has been made compulsory for all in the educational institutions while their temperature will have to be checked every day, on which a monitoring report shall be sent to the education ministry daily, as per the decisions made on September 5 at an inter-ministerial meeting.

Meanwhile, the directorate on Wednesday issued an 11-point directive for the educational institutions from primary to higher secondary levels, including madrassahs, to prepare routines for in-person classes.

The directorate also asked all residential educational institutions to reopen hostels and comply with the government-set health regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and dengue.

Public health experts on different occasion also said that compliance with health rules, especially wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, as well as their strict monitoring must be made obligatory at the educational institutions.

Since March 18, 2020, the classroom activities of the educational institutions across the country have remained closed due to the Covid situation, which were scheduled to be shut till September 11 after several extensions of the closure.

According to a UNICEF report, published on August 24, Bangladesh has seen the second-longest Covid school closure in the world.

Education minister Dipu Moni on September 5 announced the decision to reopening the stipulated educational institutions after an inter-ministerial meeting held at the Cabinet Division at the Bangladesh Secretariat earlier in the day.

The decision to reopen the educational institutions came after prime minister and leader of the house Sheikh Hasina on September 2 told the parliament that measures were being taken to reopen the schools and colleges.

‘Now we’re seeing that the infection is rapidly decreasing while in 2020 the infection also decreased during November and December,’ Dipu Moni said on September 5.

However, as of Thursday, officials of some educational institutions said that they were not sure if the online classes would continue besides the in-person classes.

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