The government has again extended the closure of educational institutions until Jan 30 as the coronavirus situation shows no sign of improvement.
In a circular on Friday, the Education Ministry said that the decision will be effective for all educational institutions, except the Qawmi madrasas.
The government shut schools and educational institutions on March 17 last year after the country confirmed its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. The closure was extended several times, most recently until Jan 16 this year.
Friday’s circular said the closure has been extended to protect the students from the coronavirus infection.
During this extended period, students will remain at home.
Bangladesh’s coronavirus caseload stood at 526,485 on Friday with 7,862 fatalities – a mortality rate of 1.49%. So far, 471,123 patients – 89.48% – have recovered.
Since Jan 1 this year, the number of new cases, number of daily fatalities and recoveries has fallen.
Covid-19 vaccine on the way
Things are looking bright in the fight against coronavirus.
Bangladesh approved the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on January 7, allowing Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the vaccine.
Under the deal, Bangladesh will import 30 million doses from Serum in the next six months. “If everything goes well, we will get the vaccines in mid-January,” Health Minister Zahid Maleques said.
On December 28, Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company Globe Biotech got approval from the DGDA for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine for clinical trials.
Health Minister Maleque on Thursday said they are ready to start a vaccination drive once vaccines come from abroad.
The authorities of Islamic University (IU) appointed new transport administrator, acting registrar and acting chief engineer on the campus in Kushtia on Thursday.
A press release, signed by IU VC's personal secretary Ayub Ali, confirmed the matter.
Islamic History and Culture department Professor M Anowar Hossain was appointed as transport administrator, deputy registrar M Ataur Rahman as new acting registrar and Munshi Shaheed Uddin Mohammad Tareque was appointed as acting chief engineer of the university.
Also read: IU holds seminar on changing trends of Bauls
IU information, publication and public relations office acting director M Ataul Haque said that IU VC appointed them to the posts until the further notice.
Professor Anowar Hossain was appointed to the post for the next one year as the tenure of previous transport administrator Professor M Rezuanul Islam concluded, he said.
Ataur Rahman replaced to SM Abdul Latif and Tareque replaced to Alimuzzaman Totul, he added.
The university authorities, also appointed SM Abdul Latif as acting librarian of the university.
Also read: IU assistant proctor's punishment demanded
The Covid pandemic has caused the largest disruption of the education system in history, affecting almost 80% of the students across 150 countries, experts have said, calling for better digital infrastructure for the seamless success of e-learning initiatives in emerging economies like Bangladesh.
At a recent webinar, titled ‘E-Learning and the Future of Higher Education’, experts from Bangladesh and the US weighed the pros and cons of the e-learning system. The webinar was organised by McWeadon Education (McWeadon.com) Bangladesh in collaboration with Faith Bangladesh.
Prof Md Fayyaz Khan, the Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh University of Business & Technology (BUBT), shared mixed feelings about the preparedness of Bangladeshi universities during Covid-19.
He highlighted the challenges of online teaching and learning that included internet connectivity issues, high-cost mobile data and power failures. Prof Khan also asked for a holistic approach to preparing both private and public universities to cope with the current challenges in higher education.
The keynote speaker, Dr Chris Dede, a professor of learning technologies at Harvard University, shared his four-decade-long experience and insights on distance learning in higher education. He emphasised the importance of life-long learning and stressed on the partnership of human and artificial Intelligence. To a poser, he expressed his keen interest in leveraging his resources to promote higher education in Bangladesh.
Dr Joseph Rene Corbeil, Professor of Educational Technology, Teaching and Learning, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, emphasised on the capacity building of respective faculties through more investment and resources in order to make the distance learning initiatives successful amid the pandemic.
Also read: E-learning rises amid coronavirus outbreak
On his part, Dr Reggie Smith, the Executive Director of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), shared the best practices and challenges for distance learning in the context of the US. To address the challenges faced in a developing country like Bangladesh, he suggested developing collaborative efforts with universities in the US and also expressed his interest to extend the liaison of USDLA with McWeadon Education in Bangladesh.
At the webinar, Dr Badrul Huda Khan, President of McWeadon, shared his octagonal framework on e-learning and blended learning at the webinar and emphasised on the collaboration of all stakeholders (institutes, faculties, students and communities) to ensure meaningful usage of technology in the field of higher education.
McWeadon Education President Dr Badrul Khan, Professor of Educational Technology Teaching and Learning of University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Dr Joseph Rene Corbeil, also spoke at the virtual event during the weekend.
A seminar on the changing trends of Bauls was held at the Islamic University in Kushtia on Monday.
IU English department organised the seminar at the Rabindra-Nazrul Arts’ Faculty building around 11am.
Bangla Academy Chairman and IU Bangabandhu Chair Professor Shamsuzzaman Khan addressed the seminar as the chief discussant with IU English department head Professor Mossammad Salma Sultana was in the chair.
IU English department assistant Professor Liton Baron Sikder presented the article under the supervision of the university’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr M Shahinoor Rahman.
IU English department Assistant Professor Prakash Chandra Biswas conducted the seminar attended by over 20 teachers of different departments of the university.
While addressing the seminar, the speakers shed lights on methodological and stylistic approaches of the present study and focused on the aspects of changing trends of the Bauls.
The Cabinet on Monday approved the drafts of three amendment bills aiming to publish the results of the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations by January 28 next.
The approval came from a Cabinet meeting held at the Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The Prime Minister joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The cabinet gave the final approval to the three bills on condition of vetting of the Law Ministry, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting.
"Today it was decided to place the three bills in Parliament in the very first sitting of its upcoming session to pass it within the next two or three days so that the results can be published on January 24-25 or within maximum January 28," he said.
Also read: No uniform view on HSC cancellation among students, parents
It was proposed to promulgate three ordinances amending 'Intermediate and Secondary Education Ordinance 1961', 'Bangladesh Technical Education Board Act 2018' and 'Bangladesh Madrasah Education Board Act 2020' to publish the results of the candidates of HSC and its equivalent examinations, he said.
"But the cabinet decided to enact three amended laws in Parliament instead of promulgation of ordinances as the next session of Parliament is very imminent," he said adding the parliament will go in session within seven days (January 18).
As per the existing laws, there is no provision to publish the results of the HSC and its equivalent examinations without holding examinations.
Since it is not possible to hold examinations amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the amendment bills were placed, said the Cabinet Secretary.
Also read: No HSC, equivalent exams this year
The results will be published after coordinating 75 percent of the SSC and 25 percent from the JSC-JDC results, said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni recently.
The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations were postponed this year due to Covid-19 situation.
Also read: Review decision on HSC exams: GM Quader