Amid concerns that there could be a surge in Covid-19 cases in Bangladesh during the upcoming winter months, the government has again extended the closure of educational institutions until December 19, aiming to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
The Education Ministry issued a notice in this regard on Thursday. In late March, the government announced general holidays in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and shut all the educational institutions.
Although activities at both government and private offices gradually resumed, educational institutions have not been reopened. The duration of previously announced closure of educational institutions is scheduled to expire on November 14.
Coronavirus situation in Bangladesh
Bangladesh on Wednesday reported 1,733 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, bringing the caseload to 425,353. Besides, 19 more patients died from the virus infection during the period which took the fatalities to 6,127.
The death rate stood at 1.44 percent, said the Directorate General of Health Services. So far, 343,131 patients — 80.67 percent — including 1,715 new ones, have recovered in the last 24 hours.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8. The infection cases reached the 300,000-mark on August 26 while the first death was reported on March 18 and the death toll exceeded 6,000 on November 4.
The government has decided not to hold any annual examination for secondary school students this year due to the Covid-I9 pandemic.
The Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations will not be held this year either.
“No examination will be held this year and the students will be promoted to the next class without facing any examination. A decision about providing certificates will be taken later,” said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni on October 2I.
Talking about the evaluation process, the minister said: “Their performance will be evaluated based on their previous results as the teachers have the idea about their students.”
The decision on enrolling class VIII students in Science, Humanities and Commerce sections will be taken later, she added.
The National Curriculum Board will prepare a syllabus for completing it within 30 working days for upgrading them to the next class, she said.
Referring to extending the academic year, the minister said, “We’ll keep it in mind whether it’s needed. It’ll be decided later.” About the next year’s admission process, Dipu said no decision has been taken yet in this regard.
No HSC exam this time
The government also decided not to take any Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations due to the pandemic.
Besides, there will be no Primary Education Completion (PEC) and its equivalent Ebtedayee examinations for 2020 and the students will be promoted to the next class through class assessment instead.
Education Minister Dipu Moni on September 30 said they are working out plans considering various alternatives since experts have warned about the possible second wave of coronavirus during winter.
UGC directives over online education
On May 7, the University Grants Commission (UGC) published a guideline on conducting courses online in light of the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, including teaching, taking exams, their assessment as well as admission for private universities.
Covid second wave
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on September 21 directed the administration to take preparations to face the field-level situation if the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic hits the country in winter alongside a surge in cold-related diseases.
On October 6, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said Bangladesh can avoid the second possible wave of coronavirus during the upcoming winter if people properly maintain the health hygiene rules.