Educational activities of lakhs of students in the northern and central regions of the country are in a shambles as over a thousand schools remain submerged or were washed away by flood waters in the past few weeks.
Aside from being inundated or damaged by the flood, many schools in 18 districts of these two regions had to be shut down due to dwindling attendance of students who along with their family members had to take refuge in flood shelters away from the schools, report our correspondents.
Moreover, in many cases, books and other stationery belonging to a large number of these students had been lost or damaged.
The government will provide new books to the students whose books had been lost or damaged due to the flood, assured education officers of the affected districts, one of them being Mohammad Hossain, primary education officer of Bogra.
When asked how teachers in these schools would compensate for the lost hours in lesson time, Hossain said makeup classes will be arranged in schools in the affected areas.
The makeup classes will start if the flood waters recede in the next two to three days and if necessary, the classes will continue during the weekly or public holidays, he added.
The worst affected district is Kurigram where around 43,000 students of 248 primary schools have been badly affected as their dwellings and schools have been inundated by the flood waters, according to district primary education office (DPEO) sources,
The schools have been closed for around two weeks, said Dabir Uddin, DPEO of Kurigram. However, he said the water has been subsiding day by day.
Our district administration sources in Bogra said in Sariakandi upazila alone, at least 83 primary schools, 10 high schools and one madrasa have been affected by the floods this year and a number of institutions in char (shoal) areas have been washed away completely.
According to Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) operated by Bangladesh Water Development Board, the water levels of the rivers Brahmaputra, Surma, Kushiyara, and Teesta have been falling while that of the Ganges and the Padma have been unchanged. And therefore, the flood situation in the northern and north-eastern districts will improve soon.
In the meantime, water levels in the Balu, Turag, Lakhya and Buriganga will continue to rise over the next 24 hours, worsening the situation around the capital, said FFWC.
Students hit the hardest by the floods this year are the ones living on the chars of the Jamuna and the Teesta where levels of water have been above the danger mark for nearly two weeks.
The situation in Tangail, Munshiganj, Manikganj, Rajbari and Faridpur districts are still worsening, with no sign of respite to the students of the area in sight.
In Tangail, as of yesterday, 420 schools in the district have been inundated. Among them 290 are primary schools and 130 high schools, said Mohammad Mokhlesur Rahman, additional deputy commissioner (education) in Tangail.
Our correspondent from Faridpur reports, nearly 60 educational institutions in the district have been affected by the flood.
Our Jamalpur correspondent, quoting district education officer, said the floods have damaged over 400 educational institutions in the district.
Our correspondents from Tangail, Kurigram, Bogra and Jamalpur contributed to this report.