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Bangladesh’s schools to enforce vaccine requirement to Jan 12

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2022-01-10 13:07:53 BdST

bdnews24

The Bangladesh government has decided to keep schools open, but emphasised the need for vaccination as the COVID-19 pandemic situation worsens in the country.

Those students who face health risks are encouraged to stay at home and attend online classes.

From Jan 12, students between the ages of 12 and 17 will require at least one dose of the COVID vaccine before they are allowed to attend in-person classes.

Those who are unable to attend school can make up their classwork through online classes or other alternate means, the government said.

"Though the number of infections has risen, the situation is still largely the same as when we reopened schools, colleges and other educational institutions last year," Education Minister Dipu Moni told reporters at the Secretariat on Monday.

“And so, we have decided not to close them for now. We will, instead, try to administer vaccines to all students and allow them to continue classes. With the omicron strain, even if students remain at home, they still face a risk of being infected by a family member.”

The government has maintained its decision to make vaccines mandatory to attend school from Jan 12, she said. Those students who are unable to get the vaccines in time will have to attend class online or do TV classes.

Assignments will also be available, she said.

There are relatively few cases of infection among school students under the age of 12, and the World Health Organization has not recommended that children of that age be vaccinated, the education minister noted.

As such, students under 12 can still attend school without getting the vaccine, she said. 

However, students who have other illnesses like cancer, complications such as breathing difficulties, or are at particular risk from COVID are encouraged to stay at home and do online classes, Dipu Moni said.

In March, 2020, as the pandemic ramped up around the world, the Bangladesh government closed schools, colleges and other educational institutions. Schools finally reopened 543 days later on Sept 12, 2021.