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Alternative Thought With Pandemic

 Alternative Thought With Pandemic
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12th-Oct-2020       
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Dr. Syed Nesar Ahmad Rumy :
We know our education system has been dashed seriously by Covid-19 pandemic. Since last March all the educational institutions remain closed sine die. Nobody knows when these institutions will be functional and start their regular courses. But it is assumed that the authority is actively considering opening the educational institutions. By this time the Corona situation remains as it is and it seems people of our country have got some sort of adjustment power to go with the Corona situation. The economy is now functioning in full swing. People have come out of their houses and go for work. The public transport such as roads, railways, waterways and airways are now functioning well and the international air transports come to its normal functioning within very short time. Industries are working and farmers are working in their agricultural fields. Since the inception of corona pandemic only the farmers work well but their produce did not get due price during the lockdown period. In addition the unceasing flood situation in north Bengal has made many people helpless in that area and it has worsen the economic condition of the people of that area.
The teenager students feel bore staying in the houses all the time. At least March to end of June in this year they were confined in the houses totally. This created severe psychological pressures to them. They could not go out of their residences and they could not go to the open spaces for games or exercises. The situation was very much unusual for them. For that reason they could not concentrate their mind to the studies. As a result of this situation they used to make quarrelling with their brothers and sisters. Even the parents have become tired for their behavior. This was and still is a very serious problem the parents are facing in this time.
This is the overall picture of education in Bangladesh now. Especially the HSC examinees are very much in dilemma. Few days back government has taken decision not to hold HSC, JSC and JDC exams and give auto promotion in all the classes in the schools. On the basis evaluation of SSC/Dakhil and JSC/JDC exams of previous year all the examinees will get their grades in HSC levels and they can take admission in the higher studies on the basis of that grade. Difference of opinion, arguments, counter arguments on this decision are there and some people has already filed writ petition against this decision of the government. This indicates a serious backward and negative message to all and ultimately it is a national loss of valuable time.
By this time we are very close to the end of this calendar year which is the end of academic year of the most of the schools. New session will start after threemonths. But still now we are very much indecisive about opening the academic institutions. In the media it is reported that some educational institutions start their function in some western countries including USA maintaining health prerequisites. For that reason we are to think in a different way. Time is passing very fast and this is the time government has to take a strong decision to open educational institutions. Opening the educational institutions is a very tough decision for the government. Government has to think of the social implications of opening schools. The public opinion of our country is very much divided on this issue. But still then some alternative plan government may consider. The alternative plan of functioning educational institutions may be as follows:
a. As the academic time in this year is already close to ending, the authority can take a decision for fresh start from January next year;
b. No auto-promotion should be given in the schools. Schools have to start their functioning from 1st of January next year. Students of the different classes in the running year will sit in the same class in coming year;
c. Students of the different colleges and universities have to start freshly in the coming year;
d. We have to forgo the running year for academic purpose as schools/colleges and universities are closed most of the time of the year for pandemic corona. This is a big national loss but for the reality the guardians, students and the authority have to accept this reality and in this case HSC exam of this year may be held next year and new entrants of class one in the primary schools has to be stopped for one year for clearing the academic session jam.
We hope within few months corona vaccine will be available in Bangladesh and by this time people in general will have the more adjustment capability with corona virus. We can also hope that the severity and aggressiveness of corona pandemic will be reduced in the near future. Our society cannot bear the closure of educational institutions anymore. So for keeping the standard of education, this is the time to take a strong political decision by the high-ups of the government considering above mentioned points and discussions.

(Dr. Rumy is a retired civil servant)

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