The government on Wednesday extended the closure of secondary and higher secondary-level educational institutions by two weeks until February 20, taking the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country. “The closure of schools and colleges has been extended by two weeks,” MA Khair, public relations officer of the Education Ministry, told UNB. Read: Keep schools open to avert learning catastrophe: UNICEF On January 21, the government announced that all the schools and colleges of the country will remain closed from January 21 to February 6 in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The following day, the Ministry of Education issued an 11-point directive, including resuming online classes, for schools and colleges during the closure. Besides, the vaccination of students aged between 12 to 17 years against Covid-19 was directed to be continued following the health guidelines in coordination with the zonal offices of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, District Education Office, Upazila Secondary Education Offices, local administration and Civil Surgeons. After a long closure due to the pandemic, the students of schools and colleges in Bangladesh returned to their classrooms on September 12 last year. Read:Schools, colleges to return to online classes: Ministry The government shut the educational institutions on March 17, 2020, after the country reported its first Covid-19 cases on March 8 and later the closure was extended several times.
Amid the recent spike in Coronavirus, the government has extended the closure of primary schools and kindergartens across Bangladesh until August 31 to protect students from virus infections. The decision in this regard was taken on Friday, said a handout came from the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education. The handout said students have to abide by health guidelines and regulations issued from time to time by the Prime Minister's Office, Cabinet Division, Ministry of Public Administration and Health Services Department. Also read: Covid-19 in Bangladesh: Schools, colleges to remain closed until Aug 31 The government has also extended the closure of secondary and higher secondary-level educational institutions until August 31. Covid situation in Bangladesh As the Delta variant of Covid-19 engulfed the country, Bangladesh recorded 239 more deaths caused by the virus in 24 hours till Thursday morning. Besides, 15,271 new people came out Covid positive during the period after the test of 52,282 samples, according to a handout issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The fresh cases took the country’s Covid death tally to 20,255 today while the caseload to 1,226,253. The country has been seeing nearly 200 deaths a day for the past two weeks, shattering the records of daily cases and deaths almost every other day. Also read: Reopening of schools cannot wait: UNICEF, UNESCO Meanwhile, the daily test-positivity rate declined slightly to 29.21% from Wednesday's 30.12% while the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a 5% or below rate. However, the case fatality rate remained unchanged at 1.65 % during the period, said the DGHS.
The government has extended the ongoing closure of all the educational institutions of Bangladesh until June 30 considering the worsening coronavirus situation in the country. The decision has been taken considering the safety of teachers, students and staff and imposition of lockdowns in different districts, Mohammad Abul Khayer, public relations officer of the Education Ministry, told UNB on Saturday. Earlier on May 26, the government had decided to reopen the educational institutions, particularly primary, secondary and higher secondary ones, in the country on June 13 depending on the Covid situation. But the situation keeps worsening in the country, particularly in bordering districts. Also read: Pros and Cons of Reopening Educational Institutions during Pandemic Abul Khayer, however, said the online classes will continue as before. The decision has been taken as per the directives of the National Technical Advisory Committee formed to fight Covid-19 in the country and it will remain applicable for Ebtedayee and Qawmi madrasas, too.
The government has decided to reopen educational institutions, particularly primary, secondary and higher secondary ones, in Bangladesh on June 13 if the Covid-19 situation does not deteriorate. “We’ve decided to reopen all the educational institutions -- primary, secondary and higher secondary ones -- on June 13. We expect the situation to be much more favourable by the time,” said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni at a virtual press conference on Wednesday. About reopening universities, the Education Minister said the decision will be taken in consultation with the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the university authorities. Read: Educational institutions must abide by constitution, law: HC The minister, however, said reopening of public universities depends on vaccination among their resident students, teachers and staff. “The reopening of universities may slightly depend on vaccination,” she said, adding that the government will soon start vaccination among resident students, teachers, officers and employees of universities on a priority basis. Initially, the institutions will remain open for six days a week for the class-V students as well as SSC and HSC candidates of 2021 and 2022, while for one day for the students of other classes. The number of classroom lectures will increase gradually for the students of other classes, she said. The government has already taken preparations so that the SSC and HSC examinees for 2021 can sit for their examinations attending the classes for 60 days and 84 days respectively. And their syllabuses were shortened accordingly. The examinations will begin at least two weeks after the classes, the minister added. Read Schools, colleges likely to remain closed until Eid: Dipu The periods for in-person classes will be 150 days and 180 days for SSC and HSC candidates of 2022. The syllabuses for the examinees of 2022 have also been shortened. Dipu Moni urged all to follow the health guidelines and thus help the government create a favourable environment for reopening the educational institutions. “On one hand, we ask for reopening educational institutions and increase the (Covid-19) infection rate on the other hand by not following the health guidelines. These two things can't go together,” she said. The minister said the online and television-based teaching and assignment-based academic activity are going on amid the ongoing closure of educational institutions. Read Japan's role key to Bangladesh's further development: Dipu Moni She said the Covid-19 infection rate has risen slightly due to the recent mass exodus during the Eid holidays. “The infection rate has risen suddenly in some districts. Keeping such issues in mind, we’re extending the closure of our educational institutions until June 12. We hope the situation will improve by the time, and then we can reopen the institutions,” she said. The minister, however, said the government will reopen the educational institutions on the basis of adequate data and favourable opinions. She said the government takes its decision following discussions with the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19. “We’ll take the decision (on reopening the educational institutions) based on discussions with them this time, too,” she added. Read: Assess situation before reopening educational institutions: PM According to expert views, if the Covid-19 infection rate remains within 5 percent, it will create a favourable situation to reopen educational institutions, Dipu Moni added. In reply to a question about the JSC examinations, the minister said if the situation remains conducive, the government will hold examinations, or else, those would be assignment-based ones. She said the government has collected data of the dropped-out students and now those are being analysed. “So, we’ll soon get a complete report on it (dropout),” she added. Replying to another question, Dr Dipu Moni said there is a slim chance to give auto-pass to the SSC and HSC candidates of 2021 unlike the HSC candidates of 2020. Read Students protest, demand re-opening of their institutions She said the HSC candidates of 2020 had joined the classes for full two years, sat for pre-tests and taken all-out preparations for the examinations, but the exams were postponed just a few days ago. This time, she said, the SSC and HSC candidates could not attend their normal classes throughout last year. “So, the scope to give them an auto-pass is very thin.” Speaking at the press conference, State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossain said the primary schools will also be reopened on June 13 next. “It won’t be a bad decision if we reopen the schools making sure that health rules are followed,” he said. Initially, the schools will remain open for six days a week for the class-V students, while one day for class-I to class-IV students, said the state minister. The government shut the educational institutions on March 17, 2020 after the country reported its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. Then the closure was extended several times, most recently until May 29, 2021. Read:Bangladesh braces for worst Covid outbreak by June-end: Experts Covid situation in Bangladesh Bangladesh witnessed a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and fatalities as it recorded 40 more deaths and 1,675 cases in 24 hours until Tuesday morning. The Covid positivity rate rose to 10.08 percent again during the period after remaining below 10 percent since May 15. The country had been seeing below 40 deaths since May 13. Health authorities registered 1,675 new cases after testing 16,624 samples during the 24-hour period. Besides, the mortality rate remained static at 1.57 percent, said a handout of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Read Prof Mahmood Hossain new Vice-Chancellor of Khulna University
Trade with India through the Benapole Land Port will remain suspended from May 13 to May 15 during the celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of the Muslims. Import-export activities through the port remained suspended on Monday on the occasion of Shab-e-Qadr, the holiest night in the Islamic calendar. Assistant Director of the port Atiqul Islam said export-import, customs and other activities will remain shut from Thursday due to Eid holiday. Trade activities will resume from May 16, he said. Also read: 105 Bangladeshis return from India through Benapole Deputy Director of the port (traffic) Mamun Trafdar said security will be tightened at the port. Benapole port police station’s Officer-in-Charge Azizul Haque said they will remain alert to avert any untoward incident during the holiday. Benapole check post’s immigration Officer-in-Charge Ahsan Habib said no-one can travel to India or come to Bangladesh from the neighbouring country through the port due to the travel ban imposed on April 26. But those who got stuck in India before the border shutdown can return by securing release paper from the concerned High Commission. They must complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, he said.