The government needs to pay immediate attention to the educational institutions that have been affected by the recent floods. In the past there had been discrepancies in prioritising the institutions needing post-flood repairs and renovation.

Firstly, a list needs to be drawn up of schools and colleges that need to be built up again from scratch. The floods have damaged over 2500 colleges, schools and madrasas.

In some places classes have resumed after the floods receded. But there are many institutions still being used as shelters. Classes have been held up in these institutions, though this is time to prepare for the Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary Certificate exams.

The department of education faces two urgent challenges. One challenge is to accurately assess the damages. This has not been done in the past and so adequate allocations are not made. Funds are poured in where it is not required. Intervention from unscrupulous powerful quarters often deprives the needy institutions from receiving the required fund allocations. Priorities must be correctly fixed in this regard.

The second challenge is planning the school-cum-cyclone shelters and materialising these plans. This includes both primary and secondary schools. School-cum-cyclone shelters have been a success in the coastal areas and this model can been rested in other areas of the country. When constructing such schools, the buildings must be placed on high ground, but also must be suitable for classes. Speaking to Prothom Alo on Thursday, former caretaker government advisor Rasheda K Chowdhury said that the construction of such school must be designed and implemented appropriately.

In the meantime, where infrastructural repairs remain unfinished, classes should be taken in alternative places. And extra classes must also be taken up for lost time. Many educational institutions have been destroyed in Kurigram and Gaibandha this year. These areas need special attention.