Current academic year may extend to March next year- Dr. Dipu Moni

Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Dr. Dipu Moni/photo: collected

Dr. Dipu Moni/photo: collected

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Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni said that due to corona pandemic, the current academic year may extend till next March. Simultaneously, the syllabus of different classes at the secondary level can be reduced by adjusting with class hours. Due to such a move, the optional leave may be reduced next year. I am also thinking whether the number of tests that have not been conducted yet can be reduced. However, in the case of attaining the syllabus, there will be no compromise in acquiring knowledge and skills according to the age and class of the student.

She was speaking as the chief guest at an online seminar organized by the Education Reporters Association on Saturday (June 27).

The Education Minister said every crisis brings new possibilities. We will use that possibility and move forward with the cooperation of all. We cannot put millions of students and their families at risk by opening educational institutions in corona situation. Educational institutions have been closed for their safety. If the situation becomes normal, the school-college will be opened. However, we have made some plans to compensate for the loss caused by the closure of educational institutions. In this uncertainty, it is not possible to have a definite plan.

She said that to address the current crisis, it is being considered whether the current academic year will be extended till next March or will continue till December. If the academic year is extended, it will be necessary to reduce the optional holidays next year. We teach 140-142 days in an academic year. The rest is a holiday. So if you want to increase the academic year this year, it will be done even if you reduce the holidays next year. However, in this case, according to the age and class of the student's knowledge and skills will not be compromised. The minister also said that if the students could not achieve the desired results and skills in technical education, they would not be given certificates.

In this regard, the Minister further said that in this age of technology, it would not be right to say that students will not be able to learn without the traditional practical classroom or laboratory or WhatsApp. Since there is a virtual laboratory facility we will try to take facilities of that opportunity.
She said special measures would be taken to make the ongoing classes of Sangsad TV channel suitable for special children. She said special measures would be taken to make special classes suitable for special children as well. She said that the students who have overcome this special obstacle of disabilities can also take advantage of the lessons during this corona through these online classes.
She said that the classes of Sangsad TV have reached about 90 per cent of the students through various means of technology. However, the classes of Sangsad TV have not reached 10 percent of the students yet. But leaving this tenth behind, we will not move forward. So already we will give toll free mobile facility which is going to be launched very soon through which even those 10 percent students will get the opportunity to take lessons by talking directly with the teachers. We are also thinking about how to provide internet facility at a nominal price, excluding the education sector, even if there is a budget proposal to increase the price of internet. We are also working to reach out to them through community radio. There are plans to use union level information service centers and digital service centers for education.

She added that each union has information service centers and digital service centers. Students can also take education services from there following the health rules. However, in places where these facilities are not available, teachers can be the biggest medium of instruction, she said.
"Where this digital service cannot reach, we want teachers to be able to teach hygienic lessons to a certain number of students," she said.

Secretary of the Ministry of Secondary and Higher Education Mahbub Hossain said, even if the educational institutions are opened, two or three people will be allowed to sit in one bench instead of 4 students as before, the educational institution will be run in accordance with the health rules. We have a number of plans in place to compensate for unscheduled holiday, including a reduction in the syllabus and annual holidays.

Rasheda K Chowdhury, executive director of the mass literacy campaign, said the media has a big responsibility to make people aware of accurate information and publicity. On one hand, everything is dependent on the Internet, on the other hand, if its use increases, all preparations might fail. The government should give incentives in this sector to keep the internet within the reach of the people. Remember that once a generation in education is lost, they can no longer be found. For this reason, she called on the government to take the right decision at the right time.

BRAC University Professor Emeritus. Manzoor Ahmed said the government has to take a long-term plan for the entire education management. We need to plan to make up for the losses that the education system is facing due to this crisis during the corona period.

Viqarunnissa Noon School and College Assistant Professor Farhana Khanam said non-MPO teachers are in dire financial problems. Their salary depends on the tuition fees of the students. But now students and parents are in crisis, so the government has to look kindly on the country's unpaid teachers.

Mustaq Ahmed, President of the organization 'Challenges of Education in corona and what to do to overcome it' chaired the virtual on line seminar. The Secretary of the Secondary and Higher Education division of the Ministry of Education Mahbub Hossain Mahbub Hossain, Executive Director of Mass Literacy Campaign Rasheda K Chowdhury, BRAC University Emeritus Professor Manzoor Ahmed and Viqarunnissa Noon School and College Assistant Professor Farhana Khanam. Spoke in the seminar as special guests.

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