"When will this pandemic end?" is a recurring question going through everyone's thoughts right now. It is hard to make assumptions about the future after this pandemic as the entire situation is an epitome of uncertainty. Without any knowledge of how many days the lockdown will keep on extending to, the only thing we can do for now is stay indoors.
Seeing how badly the situation is commencing, there is little to no hope that our educational institutions will re-open anytime soon. While a lot of students are ecstatic about the cancellation of exams, there are others who are nothing more than devastated. If we think about IGCSE, SSC, A levels and HSC students, imagine studying your heart out for years and paying a fortune only for your exams to be cancelled or delayed.Then there are the younger students who are missing out on so much that they could have learned. Not to mention the university students who have their graduation delayed, paying a high amount of tuition fees only to have their classes online (but only for some universities).
For every student out there, aside from all the TV or Netflix most of you have been watching, try practicing all that you have learned and attend the online classes regularly. Some schools, however, do not have online classes so what students from these schools can do is follow their original syllabuses, study through everything themselves and take help from their elders too. Parents can also help the younger students engage properly in their studies. Here are a few ways to do so. Schools teach students how to be more disciplined and to follow a set of rules. What parents can do is form an easy schedule that the students can follow aside from their online classes for a small part of the day.It should include regular study time, exercise and creativity (music/dance/art). Students should also grow a habit of reading books in their leisure time. This is essential for the younger students as these practices will help them as they grow older and it will also make the lockdown less mundane to them. To all the A levels and HSC students, try going through all that you have learned the past two years. It will most certainly help when you start your higher studies. What university students should do now is, aside from the assignments given to them, they should utilise this time to go through whatever problem they had in any of their courses and communicate more with their lecturers.
One thing should also keep in mind. There are a lot of students who are struggling financially and do not have the facilities to attend online classes. In my opinion, the educational institutions should build up a fund to help these students in this tough time. Since we're on the topic of education, I firmly believe that after the lockdown is over, the government should invest more on public education. Education is an essential foundation for prosperity and opportunity. It serves a pathway to economic success. Bangladesh has a fairly young population with 34.0 per cent aged 15 and younger. Right guidance and proper education can cultivate these young people's creativity and talent which will surely be beneficial for our country.
Let's say the pandemic is over, what now? Will things go back to normal easily? The answer to that is no. Firms will have to cope with the losses they have faced during the lockdown. There will be an imbalance in the market as people will demand for certain products more than before and suppliers might not be able to keep up with the increase. Price of products might increase too as a result of firms trying to make up for their losses. Our economic growth rate is predicted to be the lowest it has ever been. In all honesty, Bangladesh was not prepared for this at all. None of us were. However, we should take this as a lesson and prepare ourselves if something like this happens again in the future. What we have seen from this pandemic is that Bangladesh has a weak public health system, limited number of ICUs and medical equipment. I believe that the government should invest more in our health care sector as it not only saves lives but it is also a crucial investment in the wider economy. Bangladesh is in need of more hospitals and a cleaner environment in these hospitals. Modern medical equipment is essential as well.
We most certainly cannot deny the improvements our environment has shown during the period and also that this pandemic has put forth a number of good habits in us, the major one being washing our hands repeatedly throughout the day. Pollution has decreased drastically in our country as well and we should try to keep it this way even after the lockdown ends. I believe that once the situation gets better, all of us can recover from this downfall quickly if everyone puts in an effort. But, for now, stay home and stay safe.
The writer is First-Year Undergrad student of Economics, University of York, UK
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