After a long shutdown of 18 months in the wake of the raging pandemic, primary, secondary and higher secondary schools have opened doors to resume in-person classes and examinations from today (Sunday).
However, an uncertainty looms as the government said the academia may again face closure if the Covid situation turns worse.
Talking to The Business Post, Public Health Expert Prof Dr Benazir Ahmed said: “A national infection prevention and control committee needs to be formed for all educational institutions. This committee will form subcommittees for individual institution to implement health guidelines.”
“Specific rules and regulations along with the government recently issued guidelines need to be in place for all academic institutions.”
It is not enough to just formulate rules, implementation and monitoring need to be ensured in every institution, pointed out the expert.
Professor Benazir stressed the need for specific training session for teachers, students, staff and guardians focusing on health protocol to avoid the Covid-19 transmission. He advised on making sure that the educational institutions mandate the use of mask, social distancing and washing hands on their campuses.
A first grader Yamin Hossain Borno at Adamjee Cantonment School and College was found to be very excited to attend his school.
Like Yamin, many a student is eagerly waiting to find themselves in their classrooms physically after a long gap.
According to the government decision, from today the Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary School Certificate examinees of 2020-2021 session and the Primary Education Completion examinees will join classes regularly while the students of grade I to IV and grade VI to IX once a week initially.
Earlier on Saturday, Education Minister Dipu Moni said the educational institutions will be shut again if the Covid-19 infection rate goes up.
On Friday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque also hinted that schools and colleges would be closed if the coronavirus infection rises.
Earlier, the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 recommended vaccination of at least 80 per cent of teachers and staff.
On August 26 this year, the government extended the closure of secondary and higher secondary educational institutions till September 11.
With the authorities recording a drop in Covid-19 cases and deaths in recent weeks, the authorities decided to reopen all academia in phases.
According to a UN report issued in August, Bangladesh is the only country in South Asia and one of only 14 globally that kept schools fully closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the press release issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Saturday, the overall Covid-19 caseload now stands at 15,28,542 and the number of total fatalities is 26,880.
Apart from the pandemic, dengue infections keep rising in the country which is also alarming for all.
At least, 301 dengue patients were hospitalised in the last 24 hours till 8am yesterday, and among the new cases, 48 are from outside the capital, according to DGHS.
Besides, a total of 54 people have died of dengue infection so far.