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Floods take heavy toll on school bldgs

Over 900 schools devoured, damaged

Published : 10 Aug 2020 09:49 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 02:38 PM

The devastating fury of the flash floods and continued river erosion is taking a heavy toll on the infrastructures of mainly educational instructions.

Hundreds of school buildings along with the associated teaching materials like books, black boards, notebooks, electrical appliances and of course, furniture were devoured by the gushing current of the flood waters.

The Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, the United Nation and some development organizations jointly published a report on the current flood situation of the country. 

The report revealed that 902 school buildings have been damaged by ongoing floods. About 81 lakh students attended lessons in the schools that perished recently. The report also mentioned that teaching materials for about one million students were also lost in the strong currents of the rivers.

Recently, a three-storied building of SES DP Model High School in Bandarkhola area of Shibchar in Madaripur, which was renowned as the ‘light house’ of char region, has been washed away by the Padma River. 

Padma River embankments were four kilometers away from the location of the school building in 2009 when the school started academic sessions. About 300 children from 24 villages used to study in the school.

It is learned that in the last 20 years, 8,000 schools, colleges, mosques and madrasha buildings in 35 districts have been devoured by the erosion of the mighty rivers like the Teesta, Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Padma and Meghna. 

Being concerned, respective authorities sent official letters to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education from the offices of various Deputy Commissioners.

According to a report, many of the buildings were in their final stage of construction when the sudden recent flood and the gushing currents of the rivers either damaged or completely engulfed them.

However, the list of places, where these new and devoured educational institutions will be rebuilt, has not been finalized yet. Even the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education do not have a complete list of these institutions.

Rangpur division has suffered most losing the educational institutions from the floods this year. In this division, 762 educational institutions have sunk or infrastructure has been destroyed.

Besides, 635 educational institutions were damaged in Sylhet division, 446 in Mymensingh division and 302 in Barisal division. Preparations are being made to make the damaged schools reusable.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education were preparing to reopen the educational institutions that were closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Although schools, colleges and madrashas will be reopened in the near future, millions of students will not be able to study in the flood-hit areas.

Akram Al Hossain, Senior Secretary at the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, said, “Work is underway to compile a list of flood-damaged primary school buildings. Authorities have been instructed to quickly repair and make the buildings reusable after the floodwaters recede.”