Bangladeshis decry government’s ‘illogical’ school closures

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Education extended the existing closure of its public and private schools this week until February 20, citing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, ‘raising eyebrows’ some observers as the decision coincided with the easing by the federal government of gathering restrictions for non-essential business events, such as trade shows attended by thousands of people, the Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday.

“We have decided to maintain the closure of schools and other educational institutions until February 20,” Bangladesh’s Education Minister Dipu Moni told reporters on February 2.

The federal government of Bangladesh announced the country’s latest coronavirus school closure on January 21, initially saying it would last until February 6. The prolonged school closure is affecting both schools and colleges in Bangladesh. It was announced just four months after Bangladesh ended an 18-month pandemic school closure, one of the longest in the world.

The latest suspension of in-person learning in Bangladesh has ‘upset’ many teachers, students and others in Bangladesh, according to the AP, as it was imposed just as the federal government began allowing fairs to resume. non-essential business.

“Thousands of visitors flocked to the exhibition of furniture, crafts, electronics and other goods every day, disregarding health guidelines,” the AP detailed on February 3 from one of these. trade fairs in Dhaka. The rally was launched in January and is expected to last a full month.

“A month-long annual book fair is set to open in February in Dhaka, attracting thousands more visitors,” the news agency noted of a separate trade event in Bangladesh’s national capital.

Liaquat Ali, a biomedical scientist and adviser to the Dhaka-based Pothikrit Institute of Health Studies, told the AP on Thursday that he believed the Bangladeshi federal government’s decision to extend school closures while resuming public gatherings. mass business was “illogical”.

“If recreation centers and community centers are open, then ordering the closure of educational institutions is contradictory, because educational institutions are rather more essential than recreation centers or trade fairs,” Ali said.

“So I don’t see any coordination in these orders,” he added.

Mizanur Rahman, a teacher at a Bangladeshi school named Provati Bidya Niketon, told the AP Feb. 3 that his students had suffered as the country’s extended bans on in-person learning developed.

“Pupils come to school and play with their friends. It develops their mind and increases their knowledge. They are deprived of these things and many more. They have become confined. They are under mental pressure. They seem to be a little behind on their usual state,” he said.


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