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Some 75 per cent of students said they want to immediately return to their classes despite coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey.

As many as 76 per cent of guardians and 73 per cent of district education officers want reopening of the schools while 58 per cent of teachers and 52 per cent of upazila education officers are in favour of reopening schools, the survey added.

Deputy director of Campaign for Popular Education Mostafizur Rahman unveiled the findings of “Interim report of Education Watch 2020-21 review” at a virtual briefing in Dhaka on Tuesday.

The survey recommended reopening of schools in phases. At first, institutions in less-virus or no-virus areas may reopen in February while schools in the big cities may start in March at the last phase, it said.

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Amid the spread of coronavirus, the government announced the shutdown of all educational institutions in the country on 17 March last year and extended the closure several times. The government recently extended the shutdown till 30 January.

The study on primary and secondary schools was conducted among 2,992 individuals in 21 upazilas of eight districts from eight divisions. Of the respondents, 1,709 were students, 578 teachers, and 576 were guardians while the remaining was district and upazila education officers.

According to the study, 69.5 per cent of students did not participate at the distant learning provided through Sangsad Television, online, radio and mobile while more than 62 per cent of teachers thinks shortening curriculum is necessary to recover student’s losses.

The study observed school dropout, child marriage and child labour will increase due to coronavirus.

The executive director of Campaign for Popular Education and former advisor to the caretaker government, Rasheda K Choudhury, moderated the virtual briefing.

Situation and capacity should be considered while reopening schools. An announcement should be made soon on when schools are going to reopen so that students and teachers can take preparation, Rasheda said.

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