The Centre for Peace and Justice of Brac University organized a webinar titled "Education and Covid-19: The role of ethics education" on 23 July, 2020, to explore the role of ethics education in addressing the deep moral schisms that the pandemic has exposed in Bangladeshi society.
The panel comprised Prof. Santosh Kumar Dhali, Chief Editor of National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), K. M. Enamul Hoque, Deputy Director of CAMPE Bangladesh; Kajal Debnath, Presidium Member of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council and Mawlana Arif Uddin Maruf, Head of Education and Shaikhul Hadith, Jamia Iqra Bangladesh. The panelists drew on their rich experiences as key actors and decision-makers in the sphere of education to reflect on the divisive social impact of the pandemic and the ways ethics education can builds towards a more socially cohesive Bangladesh.
Mawlana Maruf drew attention to the variegated nature of the pandemic's social impact, which has led to both opportunities for more harmonious social relations and new fragilities in social bonds. He emphasized the importance of religion as a valuable source of moral teachings for the pandemic-induced social crisis.
Mr. Debnath underscored the need for common ethics education for all students, from across diverse social groups and advocated the incorporation of cross-cultural learning as an integral part of the Bangladeshi education system.
Mr. Hoque called for more inclusive crisis response in tackling the pandemic's adverse impacts on education. He also emphasized the need for a holistic institutional approach to prioritizing ethics education in this pandemic.
Professor Dhali opined that ethics education should be a priority in the textbooks and schooling systems of Bangladesh. In addressing the current lacuna in education, he underscored the importance of adopting targeted policy goals of pluralism and equality.
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Samia Huq, Research Fellow of Centre for Peace and Justice. The event was attended by Prof. Philippe Forêt, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Brac University and the students and faculties of various departments of Brac University. There was also wide engagement with the broadcast among educationists and development practitioners, across social media platforms.