The government is working to minimize the learning gap of the primary students by December this year, caused due to the prolonged closure of the educational institutions.
As part of the objective, officials of the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) have started conducting a visit to schools across the country round the week to observe ongoing classes and suggest ways to fill the learning gap of the primary school goers.
A study published in May this year, jointly conducted by Power and Participation Research Center (PPRC) and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) of BRAC University, revealed that some 19% of primary and 25% of secondary school-going children are at risk of learning loss as educational institutions in the country have remained shut since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Therefore, to make up for the crisis and to accelerate the academic calendar, the DPE has prepared new class routines, DPE sources said.
“We have a plan to make up the loss the students have suffered due to the prolonged closure. Schools have been directed to conduct classes following the revised routine. We are making an effort to fill the gaps within this year,” DPE DG Alamgir Muhammad Mansurul Alam told Bangladesh Post.
Meanwhile, 55 officials from the DPE head office have been scheduled to visit schools in different areas of 64 districts in the country until the end of this year, says DPE.
“The visitors will also observe the classes being conducted according to the new routine and suggest ways with a view to filling the learning deficit the students are suffering due to the long closure. Moreover, our officers will check whether the teachers are attending the schools properly,” added Mansurul Alam.
In addition, the DPE officials are going to conduct a surprise visit to schools across the country this week, starting today; to see if the government's directives including hygiene rules are being followed.
Experts and educationists in the country have praised the initiative taken by the government to make up for the loss. They say, the government should focus more on the primary and secondary levels than the universities.
Professor of the Department of Sociology at the University of Dhaka Dr. A S M Amanullah told Bangladesh Post, “We have to lessen the number of casual leaves of the educational institutions to make up what the young learners have been lacking. But teachers should not conduct a large number of classes in a single day since the students have just come back from the phase of schooling at home where assignments were a major part of education.”
On the dropouts, he urged all the higher authorities to take massive initiatives to bring them back, considering offering a stimulus package or incentives to the marginal ones.
After being closed for a year and a half years due to corona, class activities have begun in primary, secondary schools and colleges of the country from September 12 this month.