The education ministry has no clear plan yet as to how it will make up for the students' academic losses. It also has to take into account the fact that the prime minister last week declared the closure of all educational institutions until September if the coronavirus situation does not improve.
The ministry will hold a meeting soon to sketch out a programme, said Md Mahbub Hossain, secretary (secondary and higher education division) of the education ministry.
"Actually, we do not know how severe the impact of the coronavirus in the country will be. We will take a decision later," he added.
However, educationist Rasheda K Choudhury emphasised the need for a plan beforehand on how to fill the academic gaps caused by the shutdown so that educational institutions can act to move back on track as soon as they reopen.
The government has already started broadcasting classes on state-run Sangsad Television to help students continue their studies, said Syed Golam Faruk, the director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education.
So students would not fall behind the academic calendar, he added.
Meanwhile, Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) examinees across the country are also uncertain about when the public exams will be held this year.
Yeasin Ahmed Tanvir, an HSC examinee from Bhola, had been waiting anxiously for a new exam routine before the end of the two-week nationwide shutdown that began on March 26.
Instead, he came to know from the media that the shutdown of educational institutions had been extended further until May 5.
But his college, Borhanuddin Govt Abdul Jobbar College, has not issued a notice to inform students about the postponement of the board exams.
"We kept guessing. Some students even travelled long distances from their villages to sit for the exams. The college could have communicated with students through social media that connects almost everyone, but it did not," Yeasin said.
HSC exams likely after Eid-ul-Fitr
Syed Golam Faruk, the director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, says all examinations have been declared suspended until the shutdown is relaxed and educational institutions resume academic activities.
About the HSC exams, he said, "We will hold a meeting with the board and ministry officials to discuss the possibility of holding the exams after Eid-ul-Fitr."
The seating arrangements for examinees will be made by ensuring social distancing, he added.
Meanwhile, the secretary of the primary and mass education ministry Md Akram-Al-Hossain said primary students might get promotion to next classes without exams.
"In 1971, students did not go to classes fearing Pakistani Army personnel. After the liberation war, the government led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman promoted students without exams."
"It is almost a wartime situation now. We will definitely be considerate over students' academic life," he also said.
Primary schools will be closed until June 6, and this may be further extended if the virus transmission cannot be controlled by that time.
Huge backlog in public universities
The University Grants Commission recently allowed private universities to hold online evaluations and exams. It will issue guidelines in this regard this week.
But public universities are facing a huge academic backlog due to the shutdown. Also, almost all of them are yet to decide on online classes to avoid any disruption in students' studies.
The only public university to have started online classes is the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST).
SUST Vice Chancellor Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed said, "We have the ability to organise online classes, and our students are prepared for it. Hopefully, we will not face any backlog in academic sessions."
Meanwhile, Dhaka University said they are trying to find out how many of their students can access online lessons.
"If the student turnout is low, the effort will not reap much benefit," said Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman.
He also said evaluation of students should not be compromised. "We cannot distribute certificates without evaluating merit."
Academic plans of English medium schools
Meanwhile, parents are concerned about a possible disruption in the academic progress of their children studying in English medium schools, which will remain closed for a long time.
The sessions of English medium schools will end in June. Teachers and guardians say that the final exams, including O-level and A-level, will not be held this year.
The schools have been running online classes for two weeks, which, according to guardians, is not enough to cover the curriculum.
Atikur Rahman, father of seven-year-old Razbeh Rahman, studying in KG-2 at Dhanmondi Summerfield International School, said, "The 30-minute online class is too short for children to grasp any lesson."
"It is tough for my child to stay attentive during online classes," said Shariful Islam, the parent of a student of Sir John Wilson School.
Scholastica, a well-known English medium school with around 6,000 students on five campuses, has also been holding online classes since April 12.
According to a notice from the school to the parents of Class X, XI and XII, Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) decided not to hold international O, AS and A Level examinations of the May/June 2020 session.
But there are alternative plans. For example, grades will be given based on the First Term exam, mock exam scripts, course work scripts and class test scripts, among others.
Wasima Parvin, director and CEO of Scholastica, said, "We are passing an abnormal time. So, the normal academic atmosphere is absent now."
Dilara Rowshan, teacher-in-charge of the Uttara branch of Academia School, said, "Our academic session continues from July to June every year. We will promote students according to their class performance and tutorials this year."
"Our schools follow both Edexcel and Cambridge curricula. Both the systems have decided not to hold O-level and A-level exams this year. We are giving mock tests. The final results will be prepared according to performances in mock tests," she added.