Flood forces closure of 1,571 schools in 11 dists

Pashchim Balidah Nurul Huda Govt Primary School in Jamalpur remains inundated by floodwater. — New Age photo

Flooding forced the closure of at least 1,571 primary and secondary schools until Saturday, seriously hampering education of thousands of students in 11 northern and north-eastern districts.
Education officials of district and divisional levels have said that flood is not only causing unscheduled closure of classes but also delaying the mid-term school exams.
Attendance at the schools that are in open is also thin, they find.
The school authorities have been asked to suspend classes for Class I and II students of schools the adjacent areas of which have gone under water.
At least 1,289 primary schools and 255 secondary schools have so far been closed due to flooding in the northern districts of Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Sirajganj, Bogra, Jamalpur and the north-eastern districts of Moulivibazar, Sunamganj and Sylhet, according to district education and primary education officials.
Besides, classes of 27 more primary schools have been suspended as they are being used as flood shelter centres.
Unable to attend classes, candidates of Primary Education Completion Examinations and Junior School Certificate Examinations are the worst sufferers as the exams are due in November.
Attendance fell sharply in many schools and colleges with some of them, having gone under flood waters, holding classes elsewhere.
The floods have disrupted schooling of many students who have taken shelter on embankments or flood-free areas without being able to take their books with them.
Top bosses of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education and Directorate of Primary Education in the capital, however, could not say how many schools were affected by the flood.
Director general of secondary and higher education SM Wahiduzzaman and DG of primary education Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal both said that they asked all the district education officers to send reports on schools damaged by the flood.
Both the director generals said that they would address the losses suffered by the students on the basis of the reports.
They also assured that they would provide books to students if they were also damaged by the flood.
DPE Rangpur division deputy director Mahbub Ali said that during the last several days academic activities remained suspended for 460 primary schools in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphmaray, Gaibandha and Kurigram .
DSHE Rangpur division deputy director Sirajul Islam said that academic activities of 77 secondary schools of the same districts were suspended due to the flood.
They, however, failed to provide the district-wise statistics as their offices were closed on Saturday.
Sirajul Islam informed that many secondary school authorities had to reschedule the mid-term exams.
Mahbub Ali said that they asked the school authorities to suspend the classes for Class I and II students of schools the adjacent areas of which went under water.
‘We cannot take the risk of the life of any student,’ he clarified.
Field level report also forecasts closure of more schools as flood water has reached the adjacent areas of another 100 schools, as per Mahbub Ali.
Sylhet division DPE deputy director Tahmina Khatun said that classes remained suspended at 305 primary schools in Sylhet, Sunamganj and Maulvibazar.
She informed that another 27 schools were being used as flood shelter centre while school authorities in some cases arranged alternative places like houses of school managing committee chairmen and local influential people to continue classes.
Students were suffering a lot as their second term exam was due in early August and preparation for primary education completion examines was also affected, education officers said.
According to district education officers, no classes could be held for the last several days in 288 primary schools and 88 secondary schools and colleges in Jamalpur, 174 primary schools and 37 secondary schools in Sirajganj, 62 primary schools and 20 secondary schools in Bogra.
They also said academic activities of 29 secondary schools in Moulivibazar and eight schools in Sunamganj also remained suspended for flood.
Officials said classrooms of many schools were inundated and reaching many schools had become difficult.
Many parents from the flooded areas said that their children could not bring their books with them when they had to move to safer places for shelter.
Districts education officers said that efforts were on to keep the schools open ahead of primary and the junior secondary exams.
District education officers feared that with many schools needing heavy repairs the students would continue to suffer disruption in classroom studies even after the flood water had receded.
The possibility of water-borne diseases breaking out posed another challenge, they said.

Source: New Age

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