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PM keeps online learning option open as COVID cases rise

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In the wake of an increase in coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the government will make every necessary arrangement for the students to keep online education programmes running.

“Our online education must continue as coronavirus transmission is sometimes increasing, sometimes decreasing,” Hasina said on Thursday, noting that infections tend to increase in Bangladesh just after winter.

Amid a surge in infections with new coronavirus variant omicron, there are reports of increased cases among children in a number of countries. The number of children infected with omicron has more than doubled as compared to adults in the United States.

The World Health Organization has expressed concern over the "tsunami" of infections caused by two types of coronavirus, omicron and delta, around the world, reports

Speaking at an event via videoconferencing to mark the publication of the results of the Secondary School Certificate and equivalent exams, and the distribution of free textbooks for the 2022 academic year, Hasina directed the education ministry to prepare for a possible spike in coronavirus cases.

“We have to ensure online education reaches every household if infections spike again and in-person schooling cannot continue,” she said.

The prime minister said she sees “no problem” in continuing online classes because her government has ensured electricity in every household, and all the necessary materials, whatever is required, for the students to continue their studies online.

"We have to take steps so that they can continue their studies through websites, mobile phone or laptop, or through television while staying at home," she said, adding that the education ministry can always use Parliament Television channel to give lessons to the students.


Highlighting the immunisation programme for teachers as well as students to prevent coronavirus infection, Hasina noted that measures have been taken to vaccinate students above 12 years old.

"We have to take measures to ensure that we do not get infected again. So, no one should be left out of the vaccine drive. Everyone needs to be vaccinated.”

Many people are reluctant to get vaccines, the prime minister said and added she has discussed the matter with the health ministry.

"Community clinics or health centres all over Bangladesh should continue the immunisation programme so that people can get vaccinated quickly even at the grassroots level."

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