Flooding has swamped 10 schools in Goalanda upazila making uncertain their reopening along with other educational institutions next week after over 17 months of Covid-induced closure.
The authorities at these schools - nine primary and one secondary - are in a fix since the premises these schools are still under water, according to sources at Upazila Primary Education Office. Water has entered into even some classrooms.
The authorities can’t decide on whether to ask the students to return to classrooms or wait until the flood water recedes. Good news is that floods have started easing in the area with water level in Padma River dropping.
According to the Goalanda Water Development Board, Padma River was flowing 62 centimetres above its danger level at Goalanda point even after it started receding.
Masudur Rahman, Upazila Secondary Education Officer, said “The school ground of Daulatdia Akkass Ali High School went under water and if the flood situation improves we hope that we can take classes on September 12.”
Primary Education Officer Mohammad Kabir Hossain, said “Nine school grounds are under water in the upazila while the classrooms of the schools were also inundated. The Padma river water started to recede for the past two days and we are hopeful about taking classes. But if the situation does not improve, it will be difficult to take classes.”
The flood-hit schools are No 11 Chandkhan Para Government Primary School in Daulatdia, Char Daulatdia Government Primary School, Tenapocha Government Primary School, Betka Government Primary School, Bethuri Government Primary School, Ujanchar Majlishpur Government Primary School, Daulatdia Ghat Government Primary School and Shahjuddin Matubbar Para Government Primary School and a high school in the area.
Education minister Dr Dipu Moni has already said that the country's educational institutions will be ready to host students by September 9, before finally reopening three days later -- bringing an end to what Unicef has called the world's second-longest schools closure due to Covid-19.
“Ministry officials will complete field inspections within September 9 to observe whether the institutions are fully prepared to open their doors for students,” she said, after an inter-ministerial meeting at the cabinet division on September 5.
The decision to reopen all the primary, secondary and higher secondary-level educational institutions on September 12 was finalised at the meeting.
Abu Syed Mandal, Upazila Project Implementation officer at Goalanda, said some 4,000 people have been marooned as flood situation in the upazila remained unchanged, causing immense sufferings to the people.
The government has distributed 36 metric tonnes of rice among the flood-hit people in the upazila in two phases.