Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said students can go back to classes after the coronavirus crisis is over.
She made the remarks at an event marking the publication of the results of SSC and equivalent examinations on Sunday. She joined the event via video conferencing from the Ganabhaban in Dhaka, reports bdnews24.com.
Education Minister Dipu Moni, while announcing the results later in a Facebook live video, said the resumption of classes and exams is uncertain as it depends on how the situation turns.
“We’ve published the results of SSC, Dakhil and equivalent exams. Maybe we won’t open the colleges now. We can’t open the educational institutions,” Hasina said, suggesting that the colleges cannot start the process of enrolling the successful SSC candidates anytime soon.
“Because we want to proceed gradually so that the students don’t get infected with the coronavirus. They are our future. We can’t throw their future into uncertainty,” she said.
“That’s why we are not opening the educational institutions now. We will do it gradually once we overcome the situation,” Hasina added.
The prime minister advised the students to use the time they have now.
“It’s a good opportunity to study. Because there isn’t much work to do now. They can learn many things,” she said.
Hasina also asked the students not to lose hope. “Never forget that we are a victorious nation. Bangladesh achieved victory in the Liberation War.”
Later, Dipu Moni pointed out it is “impossible for anyone to say” how much more the students will be able to take classes in the current academic year. They went to their institutions for two and a half months before the shutdown.
“We are considering every possible option. We don’t have the time for half-yearly exams. We will try to adjust things like whether to hold the annual exams this year, on which syllabus, or defer the tests to next year.
“Everything depends on when we can reach a state when we can open the institutions,” she added.
Dipu Moni said the government will try its best to cover the losses in education after reopening the institutions.
She also said the HSC exams, which had been scheduled for an Apr 1 start but were deferred, will be held with a window of weeks if the situation permits.
“But it can’t happen now even if we increase the number of exam centres. The risks will be there,” she said.