An entire generation of children is being deprived of the immense benefits of a classroom environment
After months of lockdowns and partial openings, Bangladesh now appears to have essentially resumed all activity. However, schools remain closed, at least up to October 3.
Opening schools is only a matter of time, however, and to that effect, it is encouraging to see that the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education has prepared a comprehensive guideline for reopening primary schools to maintain proper health protocols.
This is the kind of pro-active planning that we have wanted to see from the authorities concerned during the pandemic. Schools have been shut for a reason -- there is always a large number of people in a relatively congested space, and as such, implementing strict social distancing is practically impossible.
The guideline, which contains seven core directives comprising numerous activities, touches upon multiple points, including health, safety, vigilance, coordination among the school staff, and social distancing to the degree possible.
The pandemic’s destruction to lives and livelihoods have been well documented, but an entire generation of children is being deprived of the immense benefits of a classroom environment.
Despite everyone’s best efforts to continue education in an online setting, children, particularly those in primary school, require that face to face interaction -- not just with their teachers, but also fellow classmates, to develop into well-rounded human beings for the future.
Therefore, we hope that these guidelines proposed by the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education are given the seriousness they warrant, and that if and when schools do reopen, they are done so sensibly and with all the precautions and vigilance possible.