A year after Bangladesh was hit by the coronavirus outbreak, and as Covid-19 cases are on the rise again, school students are celebrating Independence Day cautiously.
"Our school will arrange an online cultural programme, where we will present performances of our choice," shares Lubana Faryel Haque, a fifth grader at Sunnydale. The students can also write about the significance of this day and the history of our liberation. "Students can also do artistic projects. The best performer will receive a certificate," adds Lubana's sister, Zartaj Farzin Rida, who is a third grader at the same school.
Some schools will organise both online and on-campus events, taking all necessary safety measures. "Our school has arranged online art competitions and story-telling sessions based on the Liberation War," shares Raima Raihan Chowdhury, a sixth grader at Viqarunnisa Noon School & College (VNSC). "We will have arts and crafts activities, a quiz, parades, and a cultural programme at the campus," mentions Samaira Siemon, a seventh grader at VNSC. She hopes to participate in the art competitions, and recite a poem at the cultural programme.
Independence Day is an opportunity for these kids to develop their knowledge about our country, and their own understanding of the word "liberty". "Participating in the school rally and chanting "Joy Bangla" on March 26 means freedom to me," says Sakib Al Abid, a fourth grader at Bogura Zilla School. "Going to school without having to carry heavy books, celebrating being citizens of an independent nation and spending time with my friends made me happy," says Sonjiy Roy Partha, a seventh grader at Collectorate Public School & College, Thakurgaon. "But we have barely stepped out of our houses for a year now. I miss my campus, especially on Independence Day, when we had different cultural programmes and spent hours at school without having to read textbooks."
Many are celebrating the day at home with their families. "I will be decorating my house with flags, and paintings of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," says Radat Shadbin Rad, a ninth grader at Maple Leaf International School. "The pandemic can keep us away from each other physically, but it cannot detach us from our roots."
The author is Trainee Reporter, Arts & Entertainment, The Daily Star. Write to her at email@example.com.