The satisfactory numbers of students attended schools and colleges across the country on the first day of their reopening on Sunday after their long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Official data show 73.31 percent of students attended classes in primary schools and 70 percent in secondary and higher secondary schools and colleges.
Out of 9,67,179 primary students, 6,85,146 (70.27pc) attended in-person classes in Dhaka division, out of 3,92,123 students 2,52,985 (64.51pc) in Mymensingh, out of 10,56,814 students 7,57,404 (71.35pc) in Chittagong, out of 493345 students 4,01,878 (81.46pc) in Khulna, out of 421033 students 2,87,463 (68.39pc) in Sylhet, out of 329544 students 251409 (76.29pc) in Barishal, out of 595676 students 455912 (76.53pc) in Rajshahi and out of 664512 students 505811 (76.11pc) attended in-person classes in Rangpur division.
Most of the students at the secondary and higher secondary-level educational institutions were present at schools and colleges in Dhaka on the second day of their reopening.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) Director (Monitoring and Evaluation Wing) Prof Amir Hossain said, “Most students are coming to schools and the percentage was around 70 percent on the first day of their reopening.”
Mentioning that students’ attendances at schools and colleges were satisfactory, he said, “We hoped that student’s attendance rate will increase on the second day.”
During a visit to Dhanmondi Govt Boys High School in the capital, students were coming to schools since morning, maintaining health guidelines.
Sabina Yeasmin, headmaster of the school, said around 60 percent of students attended classes on Sunday, the first day of its reopening while the percentage was almost same on the second day.
She also said parents are observing the infection situation and the attendance rate may increase in the coming days.
“There was no chance of dropout in the school which was a main concern in girls’ schools,” Sabina added.
The students from Class III to X attended classes at Dhanmondi Kamrunnesa Govt Girls’ High School on Monday. Out of 538 students of Class V, VI, X and 2021 SSC candidates, 324 (60.22 %) were present on the day.
Nasreen Akhter, head teacher of the school, said, “Maybe parents of students are mainly observing the situation and they will send their children to schools.”
Talking to the correspondent, guardians said that despite there was risks of corona infections at schools but they were happy to send their children to schools.
During a visit to schools on the second consecutive day on Monday, violation of health guidelines at some schools in Dhaka was reported. Huge numbers of guardians were seen waiting outside the schools without maintaining the social distance.
The social distancing was largely ignored when the classes ended and guardians gathered outside the institutions to fetch their children home.
All educational institutions from primary to higher secondary levels reopened on Sunday, nearly one and an half years after their closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the return of thousands of students, schools, colleges and madrasas resounded with footsteps and chirping of the learners amid a strict monitoring by the authorities due to the pandemic.
On the first day of the reopening of educational institutions, teachers received and welcomed students with flowers and chocolates while they were entering their institutions following health guidelines.
To children, school means playing, chatting with friends, causing a ruckus and sharing their snacks -- all form collective memories. But now, as they returned to classrooms after 543 days of staying at home, their experience is likely to be completely different from normal school life.
While visiting a number of schools in Dhaka, it was seen that students were entering their educational institutions standing in queues and washing their hands on the school premises with soap or sanitising those.
Body temperature was also checked by school authorities before he students entered their schools while no student was allowed without masks.
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.
Schools and colleges will hold in-person classes every day for candidates of SSC, HSC and their equivalent exams for 2021 and 2022 and for the Class-V students.
The classes from Class-I to Class-IX students will be held a day each week while the number of in-person classes will be increased if the coronavirus situation improves.