Children and teachers arrive at school drenched after wading through waist-deep floodwater
Floodwater has entered 44 primary schools in five upazilas of Faridpur district, making it difficult to resume classes on September 12 as per the government’s plan.
Water has entered even the classrooms of five other schools, while the grounds of Padma Char Secondary School in the Goldangi area of North Channel union of Sadar upazila and Ferdousi Mohan Mia Junior High School in the Kamardangi area are also flooded.
Faridpur District Primary Education Officer, Touhidul Islam said the 44 flooded schools are spread across Sadar, Bhanga, Sadarpur, Charbhadrasan and Madhukhali upazilas of the district.
“Even if the floodwaters recede, it will take time to clean the classes and make them suitable for students. It's unclear whether or not the school will be able to open on that particular day,” the official said.
Visiting Gadadhardangi village in Aliabad union of Faridpur Sadar upazila on Wednesday morning, knee-deep water was seen at the Gadadhardangi Government Primary School located near the Padma River.
The road leading to the school from the main road was also flooded. Teachers, including headmaster Nazmun Nahar Laboni, were collecting assignments from students who had crossed the water to submit them.
“Our school is near the Padma River,” said Laboni. “As a result, the school was flooded before the flooding in other areas even began.”
She added: “Five of us teachers and 163 students get to the school by wading through floodwater. The community clinic in the area has also been flooded. As a result, children's safety at home and school has been jeopardized.”
She further said teachers and students sometimes brave the waters to reach the school, only to find they cannot attend classes as the grounds and stairs are flooded. In such a situation, a reopening on September 12 seems impossible.
“We cannot tell children to attend classes in the water, because it puts them at risk. Going to the school through a narrow road adjacent to Kadirdi Bazar on the Faridpur-Charbhadrasan regional road is difficult," Laboni said. She demanded that the authorities repair the road and construct a culvert to prevent the flooding.
“Flood-water has engulfed Mandaldangi Government Primary School in the union's Rameshbaladangi village,” said Gazirtek Union Parishad Chairman Yakub Ali. “Without draining the water, it will be impossible to resume classes.”
Faridpur Sadar's North Channel Union Parishad Chairman Mostakuzzaman said: “Two schools in the union, Padmachar Secondary School and Ferdousi Mohan Mia Junior High School in Kamardangi, have been flooded. In this case, it will not be possible to take classes there. When the water recedes, arrangements have to be made to take classes.”