The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education has prepared a guideline for running schools maintaining proper health protocols amid the risk of coronavirus infections.
The Directorate of Primary Education has already been directed to make necessary arrangements for issuing the guideline to all schools.
The guideline has been prepared as part of overall planning about public health and education. It will be applied once a concrete decision is made by the higher authorities over school reopening.
It has been formulated as per directives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet Division, and Health Services Division, in addition to WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank and CDC (USA).
Safety measures before and after the reopening of schools is the key to the guideline.
On March 16, the government announced the closure of all educational institutions across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh.
Since then, no classes and exams have taten place at educational institutions, except those of online platforms.
Also read: Educational institutions to remain shut until Oct 3
State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Zakir Hossain on Sunday said the schools of the country will not be reopened until the Covid-19 situation gets normal and the safety of children is ensured.
He was speaking at a press conference at the Bangladesh Secretariat over preparations for celebrating International Literacy Day.
Akram Al Hossain, Senior Secretary to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, said annual examinations at the primary level will not be held if the schools fail to reopen due to the pandemic.
"It’s not clear yet when it will be possible to reopen educational institutions. However, two short syllabuses have been prepared and finalized as part of preparations should schools open in October or November," he said.
He said the students will be promoted to the next class by class evaluation upon completion of the syllabuses when the schools reopen.
"It's not possible to hold exams and evaluate if schools don’t reopen, there will be no way left other than auto-promotion. However, the decision will be made depending on the situation," he added.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni and Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad have laid emphasis on technical education during the post-Corona period by updating the current method of imparting education.
The first episode of the webinar of ‘Let’s Talk’ organised by Young Bangla on Friday shed light on how youths’ skills can be harnessed during the post-COVID period to turn the crisis around and how these skills can be enhanced through education.
Dipu Moni said they have to keep their eyes on the fourth industrial revolution to achieve SDGs and demographic dividend.
“We have to adapt to big data, blockchain, trans-genetic technology. We have to be equipped. There will be a total transformation in technology. Our new challenge is to align ourselves with that transformation. Our biggest weapon to that goal is technical education,” she said.
Dipu Moni said the education act will be finalised in addition to modernising the national perspective plan formulated in 2010.
“We are trying to fully transform general education. We realised that we have to constantly update our curriculum because the world is going through a paradigm shift. We are bringing in significant changes to curricula as well,” she said.
As divulged by the Education Minister, the textbooks based on the new curriculs, previously supposed to be distributed among schools in 2021, will be distributed in 2022 instead as the Coronavirus outbreak delayed the process.
Focusing on how the new format of technical education will be like, the Education Minister said at least two trades will be compulsory in the 9th and 10th grades in all educational institutions.
"It is up to them what two courses they will opt for depending on which trades are popular in their regions. It was supposed to be introduced in all educational institutions in 2021. But we have already introduced that in 640 institutions.”
She said they are also trying to incorporate soft skills into the curricula.
The Education Minister recommended taking the market economy into account while formulating the new curricula.
“The updating must be done at a fast pace. That is why market research is a must. Market demand has already been mentioned. I believe the curricula that we have today will turn redundant tomorrow. That is why we have to keep a continuous education system. So, we are talking about modular education over and over again. The online education for reskilling and upskilling will not go away following the post-COVID period. We just have to update that.”
The Education Ministry will dedicate itself to featuring skilled teachers in addition to formulating the curriculum, as observed by Dipu Moni.
1,02,000 Returned Home
Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said as many as 1,02,000 people have returned home till Thursday last due to the Corona crisis.
Airing optimism that these huge numbers of workers will be trained and sent back abroad again, he said, “I feel wherever they receive training from we will train and send them back abroad again because we cannot create so many employment scopes in a short term.”
He said the earlier they can be sent back, the greater success the government will have. "But we need research on which country requires what. There are labour consulates in 30 countries. I told them to update me on which particular skills those countries demand.”
There are 64 Technical Training Centers or TTCs in the country. Forty more TTCs will be introduced by December or January. DPP will be submitted for 71 TTCs within the next one or two weeks.
“We will introduce one TTC in every Upazila. Our goal is to train at least 1,000 people and send them abroad from each Upazila.”
Stressing the need for a market study in formulating the TTC curriculum, he said, “We have to revise the trades that we already have so that these will be accepted in foreign countries. We have to ensure that the certifications we introduced have validity in those countries. There must be mutual recognition. If we can accept their certificates, why will not they accept ours?”
The webinar, conducted by World Bank Policy Procurement Consultant Faruk Hossain, was attended by Aminul Islam Khan, secretary, Technical and Madrasha Division, Ministry of Education, Sonia Bashir Kabir, founder of SBK Tech Ventures and SBK Foundation, Tanjilut Tasnuba, national program officer at ILO, Ejaj Ahmad of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center, Habibur Rahman, coordinator at Young Bangla, and Imran Mridha, a Joy Bangla Youth awardee.
The authorities have announced to promote the class-8 students of all schools and madrasas to the next standard as per evaluation by their respective educational institutions.
A letter of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education of Dhaka addressing the chiefs of all educational institutions made the disclosure on Wednesday.
It said the decision was taken considering the overall situation of coronavirus pandemic. Necessary instructions will be issued in due time.
The letter referred to an Education Ministry release that requested the bodies concerned to take necessary steps over the promotion of class-8 students to the next standard through evaluation at their respective institutions.
Also read: No JSC, JDC exam this year: Ministry
The government had earlier announced the cancellation of Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations due to the prevailing adverse situation.
The Education Ministry on Saturday urged people of the country not to pay heed to any rumor about HSC and its equivalent examinations.
“Recently, it has been noticed that teachers, parents and students are being misled by various social media posts regarding opening of educational institutions and announcement of various imaginary dates of HSC and equivalent examinations from fake Facebook pages and profiles (Ministry of Education Board) in the name of the Ministry of Education,” said a handout today.
Teachers, parents and students are requested to remain vigilant in this regard, it said.
It also sought the cooperation of the media in this regard.
According to the Ministry of Education, no decision has been taken yet on when the educational institutions will be reopened and when the HSC and equivalent examinations will be held due to health risks.
The exams will be taken after the improvement of situation and the date will be announced through the media.
Besides, decision to reopen educational institutions will be taken when there will be suitable environment, said the handout.
It also urged people not to rely on fake page or social media information.
Read Also: No JSC, JDC exam this year: Ministry
A fake page named the ‘Ministry of Education Board’ reads, ‘Decision on HSC examination is final-. The HSC examinations will start from October 15 maintaining health guidelines. The routine will be published on October 1 - Ministry of Education’, which is completely false and imaginary, it added.
It said the Ministry of Education has a verified Facebook page.The verified page of the Ministry of Education is https://www.facebook.com/moebdgov.
The government on Thursday decided not to hold this year's Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC)examinations due to coronavirus pandemic.
Besides, there will be no Primary Education Completion (PEC) and its equivalent Ebtedayee examination for 2020 and the students will be promoted to the next class through class assessment instead.
Meanwhile, the government also extended the closure of educational institutions of the country until October 3 as there has been no marked improvement in the coronavirus situation.
On March 16, the government closed all the educational institutions of the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus.