Omicron: Schools will be closed again if pandemic worsens, says education minister


Schools reopened in September after 543 days of closure as the virus situation eased

Amid global concerns over the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Bangladesh will consider shutting down schools and colleges once again if the pandemic situation worsens.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Education Minister Dipu Moni said, “We hope that any situation leading to the closure of education institutions does not emerge. But if the situation takes a turn for the worse, we will take any decision for the safety of the students.

Her remarks came while replying reporter’s queries after visiting the HSC examination centre at Dhaka’s Shaheed Suhrawardy College.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the education institutions will be closed again if the pandemic worsens.
School and colleges were reopened for in-person classes in September this year after an 18-month shutdown.

Education Minister Dipu Moni said on Thursday that they were watching the pandemic situation amid global concerns over the potentially more contagious Omicron variant.

“We are constantly in touch with the National Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19,” she told reporters.
The ministry is not mulling to increase the number of weekly in-person classes despite calls from schools and colleges, said Dipu Moni.

“However, it is for the Primary and Mass Education Ministry to decide on in-person classes at elementary schools,” she added.

Responding to a query, Dipu Moni said they plan to hold next year’s SSC and HSC exams in the middle of the year, unlike this year.

More than 1.3 million twelfth graders from 9,183 institutions are taking the HSC and equivalent examinations after a delay of nearly eight months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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