Students of all educational institutions from pre-primary to university will go back to their classrooms by this September and in mid October following a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently told the parliament that measures are being taken to inoculate students in accordance with the WHO (World Health Organisation) protocol as her government is set to reopen the schools, colleges and universities in phases.
The reopening of educational institutions is certainly a great news as over four crores of students from pre-primary to higher-education levels will be freed from the 18 months of captivity and would have a fresh start of academic learning. It is worth mentioning that the government has already taken measures to collect 24, 54, 52,700 doses of Covid-19 vaccine as part of its initiative to inoculate all the people. We think students, teachers and staff should be among the groups prioritised for Covid-19 vaccinations so that educational institutions in the country can stay open.
Bangladesh is going to vaccinate students below 18 with Pfizer and Moderna jabs. Any vaccine dose can be administered to students over 18 but those who are below 18 can be vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna jabs following the WHO’s directives as per the availability of vaccine doses. Therefore, we think that the students over 18 can receive any vaccine but in the case of those who are above 12, we have to follow the other countries like the US and the UK where students are given Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
All students, teachers and staff must
maintain health guidelines to contain
the spread of coronavirus
The pandemic has caused the most catastrophic disruption to education in history. So, we think the government must inoculate all students immediately. It is not clear whether unvaccinated students will be allowed to attend class physically. Hence, the government will also have to clear its position immediately.
There will be no shortage of vaccines in the country as the government is bringing vaccines from anywhere by any means. Collection of vaccines is an ongoing process as the government is determined to give it to all free of cost. And it must book sufficient doses of the Covid-19 vaccines for the students
The government will reopen schools and colleges from September 12, education minister Dipu on Friday says while attending a programme in Chandpur. And this news causes sighs of relief among the students, teachers and guardians throughout the country. Besides, all government and private medical colleges will also reopen from September 13 while the university from October 15.
All primary and high schools, and higher secondary (intermediate) colleges and university authorities are ready to welcome students back to their respective campuses. Most of the teachers and staffs of educational institutions have already been given the jabs while their families have been also brought under the vaccination coverage. Besides, many university students have also been vaccinated.
With the educational institutions starting, they will continue learning remotely until all eligible children are vaccinated. University students also need to be fully vaccinated to attend lectures and stay in halls and hostels.
With beginning of classes, the authorities will have to ensure a number of important safety measures on campus, including daily temperature checks and a robust hygiene education campaign. We hope the students will be given the vaccine before or when schools, colleges and universities reopen.
Apart from Covid-19 pandemic, many people now have been suffering from dengue so that that the authorities of educational institutions should clean their respective halls or dormitories and classrooms and their surroundings to make sure that water cannot remain stagnant anywhere as the dengue mosquito usually lays eggs in the water-filled containers.
We all know physical classes are better than online classes and we hope that our students can follow the appropriate norms and keep themselves protected from the deadly virus when they will return to their campuses.
While the government has noted that vaccination activity is going on across the country, our all student will get jabbed as soon as possible. Examinees of this year's four public examinations, including Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) tests, would attend classes every day at first after the reopening.
On the other hand, students of other classes would have in-person classes once or twice every week while the number of the class days would be increased depending on the Covid situation.
The government wants to hold the SSC and its equivalent examinations in the second week of November and the HSC and its equivalent tests in the first week of December. Therefore, we urge all students, teachers and staffs to maintain the health guidelines to contain the spread of coronavirus. Besides, some revolutionary changes should be in place to restore country’s education system.
S. M. Mizanur Rahman is working as an Assistant Editor at Bangladesh Post.