The government has further extended its closure of all educational institutions in the country till 16 January, 2021 as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Md Adul Khair, senior information officer of the Ministry of Education, confirmed the news to The Business Standard on Friday.
On 16 March, the Ministry of Education issued a press release regarding the government's decision to close all educational institutions and coaching centres from 18-31 March, considering students' safety amid the global pandemic.
Later the shutdown of educational institutions was extended by the ministry several times starting with the extension till 9 April. Later the closure was further extended to: 25 April, 5 May, 30 May, 6 August, 31 August, 3 October, 31 October, 14 November, and 19 December.
Classes have remained suspended since then, even though administrative activities have resumed gradually.
Earlier, the government also decided not to hold Primary School Completion (PSC), Junior School Certificate (JSC) as well as Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams this year.
The PSC and JSC examinees will get automatic promotion to the next class, while HSC students will be assessed based on their JSC and SSC results. All students will also be promoted automatically from primary to secondary level.
Health experts in the country have hailed the government's decision saying that the infection rate is still high and it may increase during the winter season.
Professor Dr Nazrul Islam, former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told The Business Standard that there is no scope for reopening educational institutions if the infection rate is above 5%.
"Therefore, the government's decision to keep the institutions shut is right," said the noted virologist.
"It is difficult to say whether Covid-19 cases will increase if the institutions are reopened, but we are sure that students will become infected as well as their family members," he added.
A total of 1,318 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours till 8am on Friday, bringing the number of total infected people in the country to 4,98,293.
Out of total tests, the infection rate was 9.19% on the latest day.
In the last 24 hours, 2,024 patients were declared free of Covid-19, taking the total number of recoveries to 4,33,614.
The total recovery rate in the country now stands at 87.02%.