DSHE has already given an 11-point directive to the educational institutions. Along with these instructions, teachers have received an outline to organise the post-Covid school activities. School authorities have started reorganising the class routines in line with the instructions.
All the educational institutions in Bangladesh have remained closed since 17 March because of the Covid situation. After one and a half year sof closure, educational institutions from primary to higher secondary levels will resume in-person class work on 12 September.
Educationists feel that making up for the students’ learning losses will be a major challenge in post-Covid schooling. They advise teachers to put more emphasis on the make-up classes.
11-point instructions for class roputines
The government on 5 September decided to reopen educational institutions. As there were no specific instructions, teachers could not organise class routines and other schedules. Now DSHE has given the required instructions on Wednesday.
According to DSHE, only two classes in a week will be conducted in the classrooms so that students do not stay at school full time. During the pre-Covid situation, a secondary-level student needed to stay for six hours at school.
The new school time is being revised following recommendations by the government’s national technical advisory committee on Covid-19 situation. The committee recommended that the students spend a shorter period at school so that they do not need to wear masks for long and can go home for lunch.
According to DSHE, the SSC and HSC examinees for the 2021 and 2022 sessions, and the fifth graders of primary schools will attend their classes physically every weekday. The students of classes one, two, three, four, six, seven, eight and nine will attend classes in the classroom one day a week. The schedule of their practical classes will be adjusted with the revised class routine.
The DSHE instructed teachers to reorganise the class routine in such a way that the students can maintain the Covid health guideline in a less-crowded campus. Besides, the students will not need to attend morning assembly until further notice.
Teachers reorganise class routine
Soon after the DSHE instructions were conveyed, Dhaka-based Ideal School and College principal Shahana Begum told Prothom Alo that teachers under the institution sat in several meetings to fix the revised class routine. The new class routine would be announced soon.
Following the DSHE instruction, the Government Laboratory High School authority will fix the revised class routine Thursday, said headmaster of the institution Md Abu Sayeed Bhuiyan.
On the other hand, the primary education directorate could not give instructions until Wednesday.
Headmaster of a Dhaka-based primary school, who preferred to be anonymous, told Prothom Alo that officials of the directorate told him to wait for the instructions till Thursday.
Confusion over JSC
Students of class 8 participate in the Junior School Certificate (JSC) exams. However, confusion over the next JSC exams has been created as the DSHE instructions binds one-day class in a week for the eighth graders.
Some Dhaka Education Board officials told Prothom Alo that JSC exams usually take place in November. However, no preparations have been taken to shorten the syllabus, fill up forms, formulate the question or print the question papers for the JSC exams by November.
Citing the possibility of SSC exams in the second week of November and HSC in the first week of December, the board officials expressed their doubt over holding JSC exams in November.
They thought that confusion over JSC exams should be made clear as soon as possible.
Relaxed study time initially
The students are going to attend their classes after one and half years of study break. Many of them, confused about starting studies, are still bearing the trauma of the pandemic. In such a situation, educationists have suggested that the students should get scope to adjust and adapt to the new situation.
Professor Mohammad Tariq Ahsan, teacher at the Institute of Education and Research under the Dhaka University, told Prothom Alo, “Students must not be burdened with huge tasks when the schools reopen otherwise dropout rate will increase. They need to adjust to the education system in phases by embracing a happy and relaxed atmosphere. To make up their learning loss, the end of the academic year could be extended to February from December.
* The original report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman.