Most of the Qawmi madrasas in Chattogram have remained open, even though the government issued two notifications for closure of all educational institutions to curb the second wave of Covid-19.
However, the country's largest Qawmi Madrasa, Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, known as Hathazari madrasa, has been declared closed from Wednesday.
Regarding the matter, Hathazari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Ruhul Amin told The Business Standard, "If the UNO office is surrounded and set on fire for asking shops to close, just think of what will happen if we ask them to close madrasas?"
''I have heard about the closure of Hathazari Madrasa, but there are more than five other small and big Qawmi Madrasas in the upazila. Although the Qawmi Madrasas were ordered to close from Tuesday due to the increase in Covid-19 infection, the madrasas are ignoring the instructions,'' – added the UNO.
As per information gathered by this correspondent, about 100 small and big Qawmi madrasas of Banshkhali, Fatikchhari, Chandanaish, and Anwara upazilas in the district, including Sholashahar Qawmi Madrasa, Lalkhan Bazar Madrasa, Patia Boro Madrasa, and Jiri Madrasa of Chattogram city, have stayed open.
Asked, Maulana Yahya, member of the Hathazari Madrasa Steering Committee, told The Business Standard, "The Hathazari Madrasa has been declared closed following government instructions. The students will leave the dormitories tomorrow (Thursday). But I have no information about the rest of the madrasas."
The administration has not taken any steps to implement the directives for closure of educational institutions to contain the second wave of Covid-19.
Despite several attempts, Chattogram Deputy Commissioner Mominur Rahman, Chattogram Metropolitan Police Commissioner Saleh Mohammad Tanvir, and Superintendent of Police SM Rashidul Haque, were not available for comment regarding the matter.
A notification was issued by the Prime Minister's Office on 29 March requiring the closure of all educational institutions in the country.
Following the application of the Qawmi madrasas, the Prime Minister allowed them to keep their offices open while maintaining hygiene rules and social distancing to facilitate the admission of students.
However, the Qawmi madrasas were again ordered to close from Tuesday (6 April) due to the increase in Covid-19 infection.