PM expects reopening of educational institutions at month end


Dhaka, Feb 13: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday expected that reopening of the educational institutions in the country could be possible at the end of this month depending on the pandemic situation.

“Now a bad situation is going on and we hope, at the end of this month the situation would improve. So, we are expecting that we can reopen the educational institutions at that time,” she said.

The premier made this expectation at the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations results unveiling ceremony this morning at the International Mother Language Institute auditorium. She joined the function virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban here.

Sheikh Hasina said though online education was conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic, students were deprived of the joys of classroom learning and company of their peers and friends in the institutes. “Our students are worst affected by the Covid-19,” she opined.

She said the Covid-19 vaccination campaign continues so the education institutes can be reopened.

The prime minister said the government has taken measures to bring the people from all strata under the inoculation coverage.

Noting that there is still reluctance among the people in receiving Covid-19 jab, she urged all to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the dire impacts of Coronavirus.

The head of the government hoped Bangladesh would be able to tackle the Omicron variant of Coronavirus soon.

Earlier, Chairmen of 11 education boards – nine general boards, one madrashah education board and one technical education board – handed over the results.

On behalf of the prime minister, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, MP received the results as she spoke at the function as the special guest.

Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury, MP delivered the welcome speech at the ceremony while Secondary and Higher Education Division Secretary Md. Abu Bakr Siddique conducted the event.

Technical and Madrashah Education Division Secretary Md. Aminul Islam Khan also spoke.

The examinees will be able to get their results from their respective exam centres and online, and through sending SMS from mobile phones.

About 14 lakh students appeared in the HSC and equivalent examinations in 2021. Of them, 7.30 lakh are male and 6.70 lakh are female.

The HSC and equivalent examinations began on December 2 and ended on December 30 in 2021 while the examinations were held with a short syllabus due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

The prime minister said her government has been giving the utmost importance to technical and vocational education, and has been setting up technical school in every Upazila across the country.

“Our students are very meritorious. If we can give them proper education, they will be able to grab the employment opportunities to be created in home and abroad in the context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR),” she opined.

She added the students will need employment-oriented education as only the traditional academic degrees are not enough in the era of 4th IR.

For advancing technology education, she said, her government has been establishing multimedia class rooms and digital laboratories. So far, 33,285 multimedia class rooms and 2,306 digital laboratories have been set up along with digital centres across the country, she continued.

She said she has been always prioritizing science education and that’s why established 12 science and technology universities across the country when Awami League came to power in 1996 as she found that students were getting no interest in science education.

She added now they are diversifying the education and setting up universities in every district along with establishment of Science and Technology University, Agriculture University, medical universities to offer scope to the student in evolving their merit as the country had no medical university, digital university, fashion university, textile university, maritime university, aviation and aerospace university once.

She continued that the government is setting up multidimensional higher institutes in order to create scope for the country’s students to flourish their merits, providing them with time-befitting knowledge and ensuring their employment.

The prime minister also laid emphasis on the need for strengthening research activities in different sectors with utmost importance on science and medical science research.

“We’ll have to give importance not only to education, but also to research always. We’ve gained significant success in agricultural research. But we’ll still have to attach further importance to science and medical science,” she said.

Since her government focused on research, today Bangladesh is self-reliant in food production and can grow winter seasonal vegetables throughout the year, she added.

Due to research, Bangladesh has been able to fulfill the domestic food demand and also ensure arrangements for meeting the nutritional demand of the people as well, she said.

The prime minister extended her sincere thanks to the education ministry and all the education boards for releasing the results within 44 days after the HSC and equivalent examinations even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recalling the initiative of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said alongside rebuilding a war-torn country he had started distributing text book and clothes free of cost among the students.

Following his footsteps, she said, they are also distributing text books free of cost, and even in this period of Covid-19 they are providing 34,70,22,130 copies of books among 4,17,26,856 students since January 1, 2022.

Mentioning that they have been distributing free text books since 2010, the premier said her government has also taken the responsibility of providing free books among the pre-primary students to reduce the burden of the guardians.

She urged the guardian to give another chance to the students who became unsuccessful in HSC and equivalent examinations.

Congratulating the students who have succeeded, she said, “Those who could not successful, I think, the examination have been held in an unusual environment. There is nothing wrong of the students here.”

She told the parents that, “you should give opportunities to your kids. It is not their fault that they became unsuccessful. The problem happens worldwide. Not only in Bangladesh, but in the whole world, unhealthy environment has been created due to Corona pandemic.”

She hoped that the children will study better and be successful in the future.