FLOODING has hampered education in 129 primary and six high schools in three districts — Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Sunamganj. About 20,000 students had to face disruption in education in the first week of July as flood water has either damaged the school buildings or submerged them for days. Although most of the schools have reopened with the flood water receding, half-yearly examinations of one or two subjects in almost all the affected schools had to be rescheduled. In many of the schools, students had to attend their classes in an environment which was not conducive to learning. The flooding hampered the education at a time when students were taking half-yearly examinations. The situation became especially bad for students who will be taking the Primary Education Completion, towards the end of Class V, and the Junior School Certificate examinations towards the end of Class VIII. As these are public examinations by nature, the closure of the schools for about a 10 days or so would certainly harm their preparations. Teachers, as New Age reported on Thursday quoting the district primary education officer of Sunamganj, have been instructed to take compensatory classes for about 15,000 students who were affected by the flooding.
But it remains to see if compensatory classes are at all taken and if such an instruction has been given for teachers in the affected schools in other places. This calls out the authorities on following up if the instructions are carried out and if similar instructions have been issued for teachers in other affected schools. But what remains an issue for the government to look into is that most of the students in areas where flooding takes place almost every year remain off-school for certain periods, short or long, and it harms their education every year. In view of the proposition, the government needs to have in place a comprehensive plan to ensure that the eduction of the students in question is not hampered in any way. The government needs to ensure, even by rebuilding the school buildings on high land, so that the schools do not remain submerged during flooding. The government might need to ensure that the roads connecting to the schools are also well built and well maintained. The government further needs to have a ready plan to ensure that, in cases the school buildings go under flood water, students can attend compensatory classes to keep to the academic calendar.
The government, therefore, must take steps for compensatory classes for the students affected by the flooding and must also have a plan to to address such issues in future.
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