The Faridpur district administration yesterday closed 57 secondary schools in Sadar upazila for Saturday and Sunday, after 102 students and an employee of two of these schools fell sick over the past three days.
Of the schools, 55 are private and two are government-run institutions located in 11 unions of the upazila. However, primary schools and colleges remain open.
The decision came following the report of an investigation committee, which believes that the students are suffering from psychogenic illness, said Sardar Sharafat Ali, deputy commissioner (DC) of Faridpur.
Although such complaints were reported from just two schools, all the 57 secondary schools in the upazila were closed to stop spread of panic, he added.
Between Tuesday and Thursday, 99 female and three male students and staff of Shibrampur RD Academy and Khalilpur High School were admitted to Faridpur Medical College Hospital after they complained of breathing problems, said District Education Officer Porimol Chandra Mandal.
After the incident at Shibrampur RD Academy, the district administration formed a three-member committee headed by Executive Magistrate SM Shahin on Wednesday.
The committee visited the hospital and the academy and its surrounding areas and submitted its report on Thursday.
Fahim Hasan, executive engineer of the district Public Health Engineering Department and also a member of the committee, said although the school building was old and damp, they did not find anything that can cause breathing problem.
“We think it is psychogenic illness,” he added.
The DC said they expected that things would return to normal when the schools opened on Monday. The next course of action will be taken after observing the situation.