Ten percent of the students in Bangladesh are still out of schooling despite numerous initiatives introduced by the government to connect them with their studies, said Education Minister Dipu Moni.
The Minister made the remarks during a session with representatives from the United Nations at her residence on Tuesday night, read a press release issued by the ministry.
According to data from the Education Ministry, there are around five crore students in the country between pre-primary and tertiary levels: 10% of this figure computes to about 50 lakh students.
During the event, Dipu Moni said, "We started online schooling within two weeks of closing the educational institutions. We also launched online academic activities for secondary and tertiary level students. But 10% of these students are still out of schooling.
"The education sector is now under threat due to the Covid-19 situation, and the dropout rate, early marriage and child labour might increase. The crisis is disrupting the quality of education, and the students are also facing psychological issues."
Speaking about the reopening of educational institutions, the Education Minister said, "The government is not thinking about reopening the institutions right now, as it will be tough to maintain social distancing measures.
"So we are taking a different approach with regards to continuing the academic activities."
Mia Seppo, the United Nations resident coordinator in Bangladesh; Tomoo Hozumi, the UNICEF representative in Bangladesh; Md Aminul Islam Khan, technical and madrasa education secretary; and Professor Dr Syed Golam Faruk, director general of The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education were present at the event among others.