Flood takes heavy toll on schools

Around 2,100 educational institutions in 12 districts remain shut
Riding a boat, a group of students leaves an inundated school compound in Lalmonirhat’s Chongadar village on Sunday. PHOTO: S DILIP ROY

At least 2,100 educational institutions, mostly government primary schools, have closed due to severe flooding in 12 districts in a week.

Some of the schools are being used as shelter for locals, who had evacuated from their inundated homes, while the other schools have been flooded, reports our correspondents from the affected districts.

The situation in Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogura and Sirajganj districts is likely to worsen today, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre said yesterday.

The FFWC has been monitoring different rivers from 93 stations, of which 26 stations reported dangerously high levels of water.

Moreover, the northern and north-eastern regions may see medium to heavy rainfall today, it said.

The Road Transport and Bridges Ministry directed its officials to ensure road communication across the country.

In Netrakona, at least 213 schools in Kalmakanda and Durgapur upazilas have been closed, officials said.

“We were forced to suspend classes as students can’t reach school using to flooded roads,” said Ataur Rahman Khan, headteacher of Nazirpur Palli Jagoron High School in Durgapur.

Classes have been suspended in at least 813 schools in Sylhet region, 392 in Kurigram, 300 in Bandarban, 65 in Mymensingh’s Dhobaura, 37 in Sherpur, 64 in Lalmonirhat, 21 in Nilphamari, 65 in Bogura, and 115 in Gaibandha.

“Our home has been flooded. We have evacuated for survival. How will I send my son to school?” asked Sirajul Islam, whose son goes to Bandarban Town Primary School.

Head teacher of the school Sohel Azad said, “Around 100 families took shelter in our school. Classes are out of question.”

However, the district’s overall flood situation started improving yesterday.

In Kurigram, 76 schools are being used as flood shelters.

“I haven’t been to school in a week. My teachers and parents asked me not to go to school until the flood goes away,” said Baizid Alam, a fourth grader of Pachgachhi Government Primary School in the town.

Flood situation in Bangladesh
Two flood affected women are seen going to safe shelter in Khuniyagachh village under Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila as overall flood situation worsened in the district. Photo: S Dilip Roy

In Sylhet division, an additional 37 schools may have to shut down in a day or two, said Jahangir Ahmed, deputy director at the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education in Sylhet.

In Lalmonirhat, Head Teacher Abdus Salam of Arazi Chongadar Karim Uddin Govt Primary School said teachers were coming to schools on boats while the classes have been suspended three days ago. 

A road is inundated by flood water in Moulvibazar. Photo: Mintu Deshwara

In Nilphamari, 12 schools were severely damaged by flood in Dimla and Kishoreganj upazilas.

In Gaibandha, father of a 5th grader, Solaiman Ali said, “We are busy struggling to survive. We will think about education later.”

Education officials in different districts said they would try to compensate for the missed classes by taking extra ones after the flood.

Our Mymensingh, Sherpur, Bandarban, Kurigram, Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Bogura, Gaibandha, Pabna and Chattogram correspondents contributed to the report.


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