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Bangladesh to decide on reopening schools as pandemic ebbs

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-02-22 16:53:04 BdST

The government ponders over ways to reopen the educational institutions soon as the coronavirus pandemic ebbs.

The education ministry was asked to lead the discussions on the reopening of schools and colleges with all stakeholders before making the final decision, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said on Monday.

The development came after a weekly virtual meeting of the Cabinet Division chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“They will review whether or when to reopen [educational institutions],” Islam said.

“We are keeping the matter of safety in our mind. It has been so long. In other countries, the education centres have remained open virtually. Keeping these matters in view, the prime minister has instructed us to give it a thought and move with the reopening.”

Islam said: “We are yet to decide on a date of reopening. The prime minister has asked us to confirm the inoculation of teachers and other education officials.”

Bangladesh detected 366 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, taking the tally of infections to 543,717. The death toll climbed to 8,356 after seven fatalities were registered in a 24-hour period, according to data released by the government.

Classes of all universities will resume on May 24 and dormitories will reopen on May 17 after a year of shutdown, Education Minister Dipu Moni said earlier on Monday.

The cabinet secretary said that the cabinet meeting did not discuss students breaking into halls in universities, including Dhaka University and Jahangirnagar University.

“What was particularly discussed in the meeting was the issue of safety of the resident students and the huge risk they face. Instructions were provided to assess safety measures to reopen the schools and colleges.”

“If not this week, we will definitely sit next Sunday or Monday. We will hopefully be able to reach a decision after sitting with specialists, law-enforcement officials and local administrations.”

Islam mentioned that an inter-ministerial meeting would be held to come to a decision.