Students return home from school
Students return home from schoolFile photo

Amid the ongoing novel coronavirus situation in the country, the government has extended the shutdown of educational institutions until 3 October.

The education ministry declared this through a media release on Thursday.

According to a previous announcement, the educational institutions were to remain closed until 31 August. The new announcement was made before the deadline.

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For the last few days, the government was saying that it is not yet time to reopen the educational institutions in September due to the novel coronavirus situation in the country.

This has raised concerns of dropouts and increase in child marriage. It might give rise to child labour as well, the experts apprehended

The educational institutions in Bangladesh were shut down on 17 March.

Students are facing uncertainty as the institutions have been closed for the last five months due to the pandemic. The situation is yet to come under control.

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Though the educational institutions remain shut, the students from well-to-do families have been attending classes online. But students from the poor families cannot avail these facilities. Though the government has been airing classes on television, those are not well attended either.

In this context, the government has already scrapped the Primary Education Completion (PEC) exam and equivalents exams for this year. It is yet to take a decision on the Junior School Certificate (JSC) exam and equivalent exams.

Overall, the country is facing an unprecedented situation, sessions being completed without classes and examinations.

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Experts said the country has not experienced any such situation except during the Liberation War in 1971.

This has raised concerns of dropouts and increase in child marriage. It might give rise to child labour as well, the experts apprehended.

Meanwhile, the private educational institutions have been taking full tuition fees, teaching students online but the parents are against this. On the other hand, many teachers and staff of those institutions are in fear of losing jobs.