Students in the country's southeastern region have been suffering a lot, with their books and other materials having been washed away by flood waters and educational institutions remaining closed, as water levels continue to rise in Sylhet and Sunamganj due to onrush of upstream water and rains for the last couple of days.
Many areas have remained submerged for 15 days in a row, causing endless suffering to people directly affected by the floods.
"Water entered my house on 14 June. We have been living in a roadside tent for 15 days and there is no sign of the water receding," said Sultana Begum of Kathoir union in Sunamganj.
Shakil Ahmed in Gowainghat upazila of Sylhet, has been passing his days in much the same condition.
"My house went under the flood waters on 15 June and it has not gone down since. Rather, it has been rising again since Wednesday," he said.
Many other displaced people are now staying under the open sky as their dwellings have been washed away by flood waters.
With the devastating floods, public suffering in the region has mounted as the Surma river at Sylhet and Sunamganj points has risen to some extent again, leaving 30 lakh people marooned.
It has started raining again in Sylhet and Sunamganj since Wednesday and it will continue till Friday, according to the met office.
Moreover, India's Meghalaya and Assam, upstream of Bangladesh's Sylhet, have seen heavy rains also, causing flooding in Sylhet to further worsen and linger.
From 6pm on Wednesday to 3pm on Thursday, the water level of the Surma River increased by three centimetres at Sylhet point and six centimetres at Sunamganj point.
AKM Niloy Pasha, deputy assistant engineer, Bangladesh Water Development Board-Sylhet, said the flood situation may worsen further till Friday. The rains will recede starting Saturday which may improve the flood situation.
According to district administration sources, 13 upazilas and five municipalities, including Sylhet City Corporation, have been inundated by the ongoing floods.
According to the latest data, 252,784 people have taken shelter in 614 shelters of the district.
Students suffer after losing books in floods
Shihab, a seventh grade student of Sylhet's Rajargaon High School, lost all his books to the flood waters.
He said, "I was not able to take away my books as the suddenly rising flood waters forced us to leave the house immediately to take shelter at the shelter centre on 17 June. We returned home last Friday but I lost all my books to the floods."
SSC examinee Tofazzal says, "I have not been able to study for several days being at the shelter with the family due to the floods. Returning home, I found the flood waters had washed away all my books, geometry box, etc."
Tofazzal lamented that the examination date would be announced any day. Where can I get books now?
Many students like Shihab and Tofazzal have lost their educational materials, including books, in the floods. Students are worried about continuing their education.
Educationists fear the dropout rate may increase if students affected by the floods are not provided educational materials including books.
However, education department officials do not have any information about how many students lost their books to the floods.
Director of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Sylhet Division, Prof Md Abdul Mannan Khan said, "We have instructed District Education Officers to make a list of students affected by the floods. They were asked to take action after gathering stored books from non-affected areas of the country."
"This time, Sunamganj and Sylhet both suffered extensive damage. That is why it will not be possible to meet demand with the books in stock. We have also written to the ministry in this regard," he said.
Protul Chandra Sarkar, Gowainghat Upazila Primary Education Officer of Sylhet, said books in the godown of the education office were also damaged by the flooding, and about half the books in stock have been lost.
The extent of damage cannot be determined before schools reopen, the education official said.
Golapganj Upazila Secondary Education Officer Abhijit Kumar Paul said, "Information about damage to student books will not be available before school opens."
Echoing the same, District Primary Education Officer Shakhawat Ershad said, "Water has not come down from many areas yet. As educational institutions are closed, the extent of damage is not yet known."
He said books stored in the directorate will be distributed to affected students and the ministry will decide whether any further assistance can be provided.