Educational institutions to reopen June 13 if infection rate drops below 5%

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Institutions will not reopen under the pressure of any movement, she says

Educational institutions will reopen on June 13 if the Covid-19 infection rate drops below 5 %, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said on Saturday.

The minister made the remark while speaking at a discussion over the late Abdul Matin Khasru, a former law minister, at the National Press Club in Dhaka.

The coronavirus infection rate in the 24 hours to Saturday morning stands at 7.91% against 13,184 tests conducted. The overall infection rate in the country is currently at 13.48%.

Dipu Moni said necessary measures for the reopening of educational institutions are already in place, but they have been kept closed as per the recommendations of health experts.

“Experts have said that it would not be wise to reopen educational institutions until the Covid-19 infection rate drops below 5%. We have given directives to the authorities concerned to prepare for the reopening of educational institutions if the infection rate drops to that level,” she added.

She further said: “The institutions will not reopen under the pressure of any movement, as we are getting numerous requests to keep them closed rather than open them too early.
“We have consulted various stakeholders and more people want to keep educational closed than to reopen them. Parents want to keep educational institutions closed to protect their children,” the education minister said.

Regarding examinations, the minister said health safety guidelines will be followed when any exams are conducted.

Matia Chowdhury, former agriculture minister and Awami League presidium member, was the chief guest at the meeting. Former food minister Advocate Qamrul Islam, Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) President Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, and Dhaka South City Awami League Vice-President Advocate Nurul Amin Ruhul were also in attendance.

On May 27, Education minister Dipu Moni announced the potential reopening primary, secondary, and higher secondary educational institutions on June 13.

On Friday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) in a letter asked universities to adopt effective measures to hold in-person examinations following the approval of the academic council of universities.

All educational institutions across the country closed in late March last year to contain the transmission of Covid-19. Many institutions have been conducting online classes and other means of distance learning during the suspension of in-person academic activities.

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