POST TIME: 23 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
1,100 primary schools shut due to flood

1,100 primary schools shut due to flood

The functioning of over 1,100 primary schools in around 14 districts has remained affected for about a couple of weeks due to the recent floods. Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) sources said as per reports received till Sunday, at least 1,145 schools in 14 districts have been hit by the flood waters.

The major districts where primary schools have been affected are Kurigram (540), Gaibandha (254), Cox’s Bazar (115), Bogura (73), Lalmonirhat (54), Rangamati (31), Naogaon (29), Nilphamari (19), Feni (12) and Rangpur (9).

The number of closed schools is changing daily as the complete field reports are yet to come. The damage to the schools would be assessed once the flood waters recede and quick repairs would be done, if needed, said the sources.

DPE director general Dr AFM Manzur Kadir told The Independent yesterday: “We are still not happy with the number of flood-affected primary schools. The total number of affected schools has not been obtained yet.”

“Classes have been suspended due to the floods. As the water is receding, they would be resumed soon. Besides, extra classes would be held to cover the time lost,” he added.

The divisional deputy director of primary education (Rangpur division), Md Abdul Wahab, said: “Many of the schools in my division, especially in Kurigram and Gaibandha, have been affected by flood waters, hampering education.”

“It will take a few more days for the flood waters to recede in many areas. The schools will then be cleaned with anti-bacterial liquids so that no germs remain on the school compound,” he also said.

“Not only have classes been hampered, but the upcoming class tests too have also been affected. We have proposed to the higher authorities to defer the exams by two or more weeks in view of the lost time,” he added.

Local district education officers (DPOs) said many of the schools are still under water. Some are being used as shelters and others have been seriously damaged, they added.

They also said though the water is receding from some of the school buildings, the buildings are still unfit for holding classes.

The attendance of students is said to be very low in schools that are still open. Parents are not sending their children to school because of the hazardous conditions. Such inhospitable conditions have led to the suspension of classes in many schools.

Besides, many students have lost their books and other study materials, making the situation even more difficult, the DPOs said.

They also said the half-yearly exams at the secondary level would be deferred and extra classes would be held even on holidays to overcome the backlog.

Md Abdul Wahab said at least 10 schools have been completely lost to the flood waters in Gaibandha and 73 schools are being used as flood shelters in the same district.

DPE deputy director (planning and development) Dr Md Nurul Amin Chowdhury said: “Every day, we are receiving reports of the flood-affected schools. We are ready to repair any damage caused by the floods. We have sufficient funds for it.”

“The loss caused  would be estimated as soon as the waters recede. We will have an emergency programme to cover the educational loss if the floods linger,” he added.