Monday, 24 January, 2022, 11:56 PM
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Education loss: No alternative to pragmatic steps

Published : Monday, 25 October, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 343

A news report recently published in this daily on Covid-19's impact on our education sector does not taste a piece of cake at all. What came up in this regard saying a UNICEF report, suggests that Bangladesh has to undergo a drastic overhauling process to make up the Covid caused damage in its education sector. According to the report, titled "Situation Analysis on the Effects and Responses to COVID-19 on the Education Sector in Asia" the number of children, experienced disruption in education is 37 million in Bangladesh since closure of school in March, 2020.

Although, this is no different from the overall image of entire Asia, where as many as 800 million children had the same experience, it should not command our consolation. Because, we think, the impact of such learning gap in all the Asian countries will not be alike in terms of their responses to the global challenge under their respective socio-economic infrastructure. Disappointingly, it is clear from a Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) study. CAMPE shows that while countries across Asia are taking actions to provide students with distance learning, 2 out of 3 pre-primary to upper secondary students in Bangladesh were not reached through remote education during pandemic school closures.

Obviously, it not only exposes our falling miles behind other Asian countries in making the best use of modern technology, also a brazen failure in addressing the crisis as an egalitarian society. Ultimately, the underprivileged children of society will bear the worst brunt of such limitations. Already, associated consequences of prolonged 18 month school closure like learning loss, mental distress, dropout, child labour and child marriage have started affecting countless children in the country. And now it will be a big challenge to get students from insolvent families, already derailed from track back in class.

Though in-person school has started recently, we think, time befitting pragmatic steps through redoubled efforts can help reduce Covid disturbed education significantly. Undeniably, government had no other choice but to keep schools closed under surging pandemic reality. Despite its utmost effort to shield the sector from nosedive, some of its role was not above question.

The way candidates were granted auto passes, we believe, did not send a right message to the students. Moreover, basic of the students who were promoted to the next class without learning and examination will remain weak and it will have a widespread negative impact on rest of their lives.

We believe, in order to make up this immeasurable education loss and restore confidence in students, psychological support in addition to other steps is vital. As we don't know how long the pandemic will last, we must have preparations in advance.

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