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Survey on reopening schools

60pc suggest resuming regular activities


FE REPORT | February 24, 2021 12:00:00

More than 60 per cent of the respondents in an online survey expressed their opinions in favour of resuming regular school activities.

However, more than 52 per cent of the surveyed people think that reopening of schools might increase spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

On the other hand, nearly 55 per cent of the guardians still do not feel it is safe to send their kids to school. Some 67 per cent of them expressed their unwillingness to bear the additional expenses for safety measures, need to be taken after resumption of school activities, the survey also found.

The survey findings were reveled at a virtual discussion titled 'At last schools are opening: how much are we prepared', organised by the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, convener of the platform and Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), presided over the discussion.

Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus of Brac University and chief researcher of Education Watch, made the opening remarks, while Rasheda K Choudhury, Executive Director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), joined as the special guest.

Avra Bhattacharjee, a joint director of CPD, presented findings of the survey, conducted by the platform on February 17-22, where 1,960 people comprising 370 teachers and 576 guardians provided input.

Nearly 87 per cent of the surveyed guardians said they are aware of the health guidelines issued by the government, while 50.7 per cent of them believe that their kids would not be able to follow the health guidelines in the schools.

Nearly 67 per cent said they do not want to bear the additional expenses, to be sought by the school authorities for the sake of maintaining the health guidelines.

Besides, almost 69 per cent of the teachers have urged the government to provide grants to bear the additional expenses in a bid to comply with the health guidelines.

Some 68 per cent of the teachers, who also participated in the survey, believe that their educational institutions are capable of ensuring the health guidelines in the schools.

Speaking on the occasion, Debapriya Bhattacharya said there are mixed reactions on whether the schools should remain open or not against the backdrop of the present pandemic situation.

"Actually, preparations of all the educational institutions are not equal for resumption of their academic activities."

Although many schools are conducting virtual classes, a good number of students, especially in the rural areas, do not have access to digital platforms.

He also called for better organisational coordination among the public organisations to address the challenges induced due to the virus outbreak.

Rasheda K Choudhury said a concerted effort with the participation of the government, civil society, private organisations and individuals is required to bring the students back to holistic educational procedure.

Syed Md Golam Faruk, Director General of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, and Nehal Ahmed, Chairman of the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board Dhaka, also spoke on the occasion.

Civil society members, teachers, guardians and students from 16 districts joined the virtual programme.

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