As academic activities at all levels have come to a halt following the closure of educational institutions amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government has taken steps to help students continue their education remotely through television channels and online media.
In its efforts to contain coronavirus pandemic, the government has extended holidays for several times in all sectors, including the educational institutions across the country.
On April 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said educational institutions in the country will remain closed till September next if there is no improvement in the prevailing situation triggered by COVID-19.
As the students and teachers have no scope of appearing in their respective institutions, the government has started broadcasting lessons through television channel ‘Sangsad Bangladesh’ and online media, especially for the students of primary and secondary levels.
“All educational institutions will remain closed as long as the government extends its general holidays due to coronavirus crisis,” Secondary and Higher Education Divison Secretary Mahbubur Rahman told UNB.
The secretary, however, confirmed that the government will continue broadcasting lessons for students through Sangsad TV.
“We’ve made arrangements so that primary and secondary-level classes could be taken by experienced teachers through the Sangsad TV,” he said.
College authorities have also been directed to arrange classes online if they have the opportunity, Mahbubur Rahman said adding that authorities at some colleges have already informed them that they are taking preparations in this regard.
He said all universities have also been instructed to hold classes online. “Almost all universities have online facilities. They can take similar action if they want.”
Asked when the HSC examinations might be held, the secretary said, "We’ll announce the date within 15 days after the government declares that the situation is normal in the country."
The secretary told UNB that the recorded classes from the 6th grade to tenth grade will be uploaded on two YouTube channels --- Kishore Batayan and Amar Ghar Amar School.
“The classes through Sangsad TV have received an overwhelming response from the students. Its activities will further be increased,” Mahbubur added.
Earlier, the Department of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education announced a routine for students through Amar Ghar Amar School YouTube channel soon after the official holiday announcement.
DSHE Director General Dr Syed Md Golam Faruk told UNB that classes are being held through Sangsad TV regularly.
“We’ve informed the students earlier about the routine according to which classes are being held now. The classes started on March 29,” he said.
Primary and Mass Education Secretary Md Akram Al Hossain told UNB Sangsad TV holds classes for primary-level students regularly.
“For the primary-level students, classes are being conducted from 2pm every day through Sangsad TV. We’re following one common syllabus for all the primary schools,” he said.
The secretary said all the officers at the field level have been directed to work in a coordinated way with the headteachers of local schools for primary-level education.
“Through all the field-level education officers of the country, we’re sending SMS to the guardians of students when classes for particular subjects will be aired on TV,” he said.
“We’re working on how to reach out and arrange classes for those children whose families do not own TV,” he added.
Director General Directorate of Primary Education Md Fasiullah told UNB that his division is also developing its own portal.
“The video classes for primary students will be uploaded on that portal. From there, students will be able to continue their studies,” he said.