The government has further extended the closure of all educational institutions in the country till 19 December 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 Thursday.
Earlier, the government decided not to hold Primary School Completion (PSC), Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and their equivalent exams this year.
Now, the extension of closures of educational institutions has made admissions at schools uncertain, as the admission processes are usually completed in the months of November and December.
Nonetheless, health experts have hailed the government's decision showing reasons that the infection rate is still high and it may increase due to winter.
Earlier on 29 October, the government extended the closure of educational institutions until 14 November due to the prolonged pandemic. The previously announced shutdown ended on 31 October.
The closure may be extended further as health experts think the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic might hit the country soon, which may exacerbate during the upcoming winter season.
On 16 March this year, the Ministry of Education issued a press release announcing the government's decision to keep all educational institutions and coaching centres closed from 18 March to 31 March, taking into consideration students' safety amid the pandemic.
Classes have remained suspended since then, even though administrative activities have resumed gradually.
The closure has been extended multiple times.
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.
Professor Dr Nazrul Islam, noted virologist and former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told The Business Standard that there is no scope for reopening the educational institutions if the infection rate is above 5%.
Therefore, the government's decision to keep the institutions shut is right, he argued.
"It is difficult to say whether Covid-19 cases will increase if the institutions are reopened, but we are sure that students will get infected and so will be their family members," he added.
Prof Dr MA Foyez, member of the government's Public Health Expert Adviser's Group, said, "The first wave of the infection is not over yet. It will not be eliminated completely. That is there is a risk of a second wave once the first wave is over."
The latest day's infection rate was 10.78% of the total tests, although the overall infection rate in the country was 17.08% till date. The death rate currently stands at 1.44%.