Risky boat rides to attend school
With floodwater slowly receding in Moulvibazar and Sylhet, many schools in submerged areas have resumed classes after a long break, but most of the students have to take risky ride on small boats to attend education institutions in the two districts of Sylhet division.
“I feel worried while going to school on a small boat in Hakaluki Haor area. We have to face added trouble when it rains,” said Sahena Islam, a student of Gourcharon Nurul Islam Dakhil Madrasa in Kulaura upazila of Moulvibazar.
“We started classes on July 15 after a long closure. Most of the students are coming to school on small boats,” said Ahmedur Rahman Chowdhury, vice-principal of the madrasa.
Namor Ali, vice-president of Gourcharon Government Primary School managing committee in the same upazila said, “We remain anxious as the school children pass the waterway in boats amid risk. We have asked the guardians to send their kids with own responsibilities.”
Raihan Ahmed, an intermediate second year student of Fenchuganj Business Management College in Fenchuganj upazila of Sylhet, said he has to take boat rides to go to attend classes as roads in the area have become unusable due to damage by floods.
Md Abdul Alim, district primary education officer of Moulvibazar, said, “Most of the school students are coming to classes on boats. It is a bit risky although Haor kids know how to swim. Teachers of flood-affected schools have been asked to arrange additional classes to make up the loss due to closure of classes during the serious floods.”
Tahmina Khatun, deputy director of primary education department in Sylhet, and Zahangir Kabir Ahmed, deputy director of secondary and higher secondary education department in the division, said the school authorities in flooded areas take decision whether to run classes, considering the risk of students who have to come by boats.
“As many as 152 primary schools in Moulvibazar kept the classes suspended due to the floods. Forty of them resumed classes during the last few days,” said district primary education office sources.
In Sylhet, 161 primary schools had to suspend classes but all of them have started classes by now.
According to secondary and higher secondary education department in Sylhet division, 80 high schools in flooded areas suspended classes and terminal examinations. By now 80% of them have resumed regular school activities.
Sirajul Islam, executive engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board in Sylhet, said the Kushiara was flowing 2cm above the danger level at Shewla point yesterday.
The situation will improve further if there is not much rain in next few days.