In a festive mood, teachers welcome back students with flowers and chocolates
After 543 days, primary, secondary and higher secondary schools across the country reopened maintaining Covid-19 guidelines and health protocols.
Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and Primary Education Completion (PEC) examinees were seen going to their educational institutions for attending in-person classes on Sunday morning.
Teachers welcomed back students with flowers and chocolates, following prolonged closure of nearly one and a half years due to the pandemic.
With the return of thousands of students, the campuses wore a festive look with all covering faces with masks and maintaining social distance.
Students were seen entering their schools standing in queues in the morning and washing their hands at the school premises with soap or sanitizing those, reports a UNB correspondent visiting a number of schools in Dhaka.
Body temperature had been checked by school authorities before they entered their classrooms. A similar scenario was seen in all the school and colleges across the country.
In some schools, isolation rooms were opened as a precautionary measure so that any student falling sick during the school hours can stay there.
To maintain social distancing rules, authorities in some schools have allocated one room for a limited number of students and one bench for one student.
After the reopening, the SSC and HSC examinees of 2020-2021, and the students of fifth standard will attend classes regularly, according to the government decision finalized at an inter-ministerial meeting at the cabinet division on Sunday.
"The students of grades 1-4 and 6-9 will attend classes once a week initially. Later, all the classes will be held regularly", said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni.
Now, only a few months remain for the SSC, HSC, and PEC candidates. Once their term comes to an end, at the end of the year, regular classes would start for Classes 9 and 11, she added.
No assembly will take place in any educational institution but some physical activities will be done considering the mental and physical health of the students.
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The educational institutions are being opened on Sunday following all the directives and guidelines of the government. All kinds of health precautions have been taken, said Sheikh Aminur Rahman, Senior teacher, Birshreshtha Munshi Abdur Rouf Public College.
Arrangements have been made for the students to enter and exit the institution through two separate gates, he said, adding that “the necessity of discipline has long been emphasized to our students.”
Coordination meetings are held several times a month, but it has been intensified during the pandemic which will continue to run the academic activities smoothly, he furthered.
Meanwhile, Secondary and Higher Education Division (SHED) issued guidelines for the country's schools and colleges on how to prepare before opening institutions aiming to ensure health safety considering pandemic situations.
Each institution has already completed the preparatory activities following the 19-point guideline.
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The guidelines include placing banners in front of each institution with the instructions that must be followed, giving a briefing to students on the guidelines and directives on the first day, ensuring regular temperature measurement of all teachers, students and staff, and preparing a room as an isolation center in each institution.
Educational institutions have also been asked to form a coordination committee consisting of teachers to ensure that the respective institution follows the guidelines and arrange a meeting with guardians and managing committee in this regard.
The guidelines also include maintaining a three-foot distance between students in the classroom, providing hand washing facilities, keeping each corner of the institution including the washroom, corridor, rooftop, and campus premises clean and tidy, and hosting a warm welcome for students on their first day.
Each institution was also asked to ensure participation of 100% students in the classroom and follow the instructions imposed by the government.
Regarding the reopening of universities, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said there would be a meeting with the syndicate committees of the universities for possible reopening in October "as there is a vaccination issue".
The government shut the educational institutions on March 17, 2020, after the country reported its first Covid-19 cases on March 8 and later the closure was extended several times.
The pandemic-related school closures in the country affected about 38 million students though the government introduced TV-based learning programs for them.