Bangladesh will announce school reopening decision ‘shortly’

Students began playing with their guardians watching without maintaining physical distancing on the premises of Gabtoli Government Primary School in Dhaka after the authorities called them to receive biscuits under the School Feeding Programme when educational institutions are shut due to the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

The government will formally announce the decision about reopening of schools and colleges, and holding exams amid the coronavirus outbreak “very soon”, Dipu Moni has said.

The education minister spoke about the plan with reporters after a programme at International Mother Language Institute in Dhaka on Tuesday.

She said she will take questions from the journalists at a news conference scheduled for Wednesday.

Dipu Moni has called the news conference to brief the public about the “overall situation” amid concerns of students and parents over the coronavirus outbreak.

She is expected to talk about whether to extend the shutdown of institutions beyond Oct 3 and when to hold the postponed HSC exams.

The educational institutions have been shut since Mar 17 when the government confirmed the first cases of COVID-19.

With the end of the year nearing, students and parents are worried how the promotions to the next classes will take place and what will happen to the lost lessons.

The Ministry of Education has allowed the British Council to hold O and A Level exams in October and November respectively and laid down four conditions for the test organisers amid the epidemic.

The government has scrapped PEC exams for the fifth graders, and JSC and JDC exams for the eighth graders, but HSC exams for the grade-12 students are crucial because the results determine their university admission.

The fifth and eighth graders will be promoted to the next classes through evaluations at their institutions.

The primary and mass education ministry has also made plans for the reopening of the schools by following the health rules.

It favours a quick reopening of the institutions considering the negative impact the shutdown has had on the students’ learning abilities.

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