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January 25, 2022 - Md. Kyser Hamid, Managing Director and CEO of Bangladesh Finance Limited and Rahel Ahmed, CEO of Nagad, exchanging document after signing an agreement at Bangladesh Finance head office in the capital on Monday. Under the deal, the finance company will be able to provide various digital transaction related services including opening of savings account and deposit collection, SME loan disbursement and repayable loan installment collection, factoring loan disbursement through ‘Nagad’ from now on. Senior officials from both companies were present.
January 25, 2022 - ICSB ORGANIZED WORKSHOP ON “WRITING MINUTES”
January 24, 2022 - Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah, Financial Institutions Division’s Secretary of Finance Ministry, distributing blankets among cold-hit people at Motigonj of Sonagazi Upazilla in Feni district on Friday organized by Rupali Bank Limited. Mohammad Jahangir, DMD, Md Ismail Hossain Sheikh, GM of Cumilla Divisional Office of the Bank and local elites were present.
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January 12, 2022 - ABM Mokammel Hoque Chowdhury, Managing Director of Union Bank Limited, distributing blankets among the helpless, sick and cool affected people in the capital recently. Other top officials of the bank were present.
January 12, 2022 - JQM Habibullah, DMD of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) and Dr Enamul Hoque, Director Operation and COO of Epic Health Care Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement recently at IBBL Chattogram Zone Office on Monday. Under thedeal, card-holders of the bank will now enjoy special discount in bill payment of the medical center. Top officials from both sides were present.
January 12, 2022 - Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director of Novoair Limited, celebrating its 9th anniversary through cutting a cake at its head office in the capital recently. Top officials of the company were present. 12 January 2022
January 1, 2022 - Sajedul Islam, Director of Aftab Automobiles Limited, presiding over its 41st AGM held through virtually on Thursday. The AGM approved 5% cash dividend and 5% stock dividend to all shareholders for the year ended 30 June 2021. Directors and a large number of shareholders of the company were present.
January 1, 2022 - M. Reazul Karim, Managing Director and CEO of Premier Bank Limited receiving the ‘Letter of Appreciation’ for the outstanding role in distributing 100% of Covid-19 CMSME Stimulus Package in the first phase from Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir at the bankers’ meeting held at BB’s head office in the capital on Tuesday.
December 26, 2021 - Rangpur region to produce 63,661 tons of wheat BSS
December 26, 2021 - Climate vulnerable agricultural sectors
December 26, 2021 - Promising new cotton variety may cut Bangladesh’s import dependency
December 26, 2021 - Jessore’s date juice industry in jeopardy
December 26, 2021 - Brac Bank wins 4 prizes at South Asian Business Excellence Awards 2021
December 26, 2021 - REHAB Winter Fair 2021: Plots, flats beyond reach of middle-class
December 26, 2021 - Bangladeshi scientists unveil full genome sequence of salinity and flood tolerant rice
December 18, 2021 - Md Saiful made MCCI president
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December 18, 2021 - PM witnesses enthralling cultural show on V-Day and Mujib Borsha celebrations
December 17, 2021 - Brac Bank reappoints Selim RF Hussain as MD, CEO
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December 16, 2021 - BLRI develops new variety of chicken
December 16, 2021 - 12th International Poultry Show and Seminar will be held in the first week of March 2023
December 14, 2021 - Sheraton appoints Ahmed as Director of Event Management
December 14, 2021 - Marching forward towards a Digital Bangladesh
December 14, 2021 - Finance minister asks taxmen not to exert excessive pressure on taxpayers
December 12, 2021 - Nagad introduces new technological advancement for mobile payments
December 12, 2021 - Md Masud Biswas, newly appointed head of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), pays homage to the portrait of Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with flowers at Tungipara in Gopalganj on Friday. Other senior officials of BFIU were present.
2020: Education faces a challenge after pandemic creates a learning gap

2020: Education faces a challenge after pandemic creates a learning gap

RN Report:Students in Bangladesh got automatically promoted to the next classes in 1971 when the country fought a bloody Liberation War against Pakistan. The government resorted to the automatic promotion option once again in outgoing 2020.
This time, nearly half a century after the independence, the entire world is fighting a common enemy so tiny that it cannot be seen with bare eyes. The virus, SARS-CoV-2, has upended all aspects of public life, including education.

Many of the educational institutions are holding online classes while the government is airing lessons on TV and radio, but educationists do not see anything to be satisfied with.

From now, they believe Bangladesh has to be ready to keep learning undisrupted during any disaster by reviewing the curriculum and making infrastructural changes.

Bangladesh shut down all educational institutions on Mar 17 after the government detected the first cases of COVID-19, the deadly respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. All the institutions, barring Qawmi madrasas, are to remain shut until Jan 16.

Vaccines for adults are expected to begin arriving in the country in months, if not weeks, but people related to the education sector believe the government will not be able to allow in-person classes or exams anytime before the end of winter, or the inoculation of a satisfactory portion of the population. No coronavirus vaccine has been trialled on children until now.
The public exams of classes V and VIII were cancelled in 2020 along with the annual exams of the primary and high schools as the number of cases of infection and fatalities continued to surge.

The Higher Secondary Certificate exams, too, were cancelled and students will be evaluated on the basis of their performances in the JSC and SSC exams while the sessions logjam menace looms over the universities.

Professor M Wahiduzzaman of Dhaka University’s Institute of Education and Research thinks that the government has failed to keep the education sector moving in the way it revived the economy.

“The philosophy here is human lives first, then education. Still, we have kept our educational activities rolling through the virtual system,” he said.

The country has made much progress in its ‘Digital Bangladesh’ initiative, but everyone should keep in mind that it started well behind the others in terms of technological infrastructure, he said, pointing out the limitations of online education in the country.

“Educational institutions, among other places, lack capable leadership. Has the Open University played any role during the pandemic? We’ve not been able to provide online education and degrees,” Prof Wahiduzzaman said.

Raising questions on how the educational institutions would survive, he said, “We’ve learnt during the COVID-19 outbreak that we lack the infrastructure to move any system forward. That’s what we’re working on.”

Authorities at Phulkundi Kindergarten School of Nabinagar Housing in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur are struggling to run the school amid the coronavirus epidemic. There may be no students now as the school is closed but its expenditures remain. Unable to bear the expenses, the authorities have now put the school, established in 2004, up for sale. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi“We have to set a target determining how we should proceed after the pandemic. The new curriculum has to include these things, it should be modernised and made smarter.”
“Technology must be utilised at all times, not just during the coronavirus crisis. This has to be included in the curriculum. Our education system has a lot of content. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to cut it down. This huge flaw of the curriculum has to be fixed. We can reap benefits if we can fix these issues even if it is for coronavirus.”

Wahiduzzaman recommended incorporating the use of devices for remote learning in the curriculum.

Prof Wahiduzzaman leaned on the idea of opening up educational institutions in phases. He said that the opening could start with class X while the lessons for HSC candidates could be kicked off by resuming classes for 12th graders in college.

According to Wahiduzzaman, maintaining physical distancing rules while holding classes could be achieved by setting such a routine that will allow the classes to be held every other day.

He placed emphasis on assignments, arguing that the students can learn more through these rather than memorising texts.

Academician Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury was troubled by the uncertainty over reopening of the educational institutions.

“A year is lost!” he said.

“The lessons via digital or any other medium were not given properly; not everyone could receive [lessons]. The internet did not work properly for many.”
“Online lessons are not going to work. Those who live in villages have no access; the poor can’t avail online classes. How are they going to afford it?”

Decrying the quality internet services in the country, he added, “[The internet] shuts down so frequently, it is never [constantly connected]. There are continuous interruptions. This is not going to be enough,” he said.

A political-cultural activist, Prof Serajul was apprehensive about the reopening of the educational institutions potentially drawing crowds.

“We are so highly populated. No other place brings such big crowds to schools. This pushes us behind.”

“We will keep hoping that the vaccine will come, summer will be here, and then we will be able to reopen educational institutions. The loss in education surpasses the damages caused anywhere else.”

Md Moshiuzzaman, a member of the National Curriculum & Textbook Board, told bdnews24.com that they want to carry on with assignment-based lessons in three-month courses if the educational institutions do not reopen at the beginning of next year.
Noting that reopening might not be possible until February next year, he said, “In that case, students would be kept attached [to studies] through assignments. We’ve chalked up a plan until March.”

New lessons would cover what the students have missed due to the pandemic shutdown, he said.

Virtual classes will continue even if the coronavirus crisis eases. Digital versions of the lessons will also be made available to allow students to allow unimpeded learning during any crisis.

Ziaul Kabir Dulu, president of the Abhibhabak Oikya Forum [Parents Unity Forum], said, the institutions have to take extra classes and cancel all sorts of holidays to make up the gap in studies.

“If it is not possible to open the institutions, the government has to make devices and other related equipment available free of cost for better online classes,” he said.

He made a case for keeping an eye out for any discrimination which may be sparked by these online classes and taking special care so that no student drops out.
Md Mahbub Hossain, secretary of secondary and higher education, said that the virtual methods of providing lessons would not stop.

“We will take steps on how to better conduct education activities virtually. We would also need to think about different alternatives.”

TUITION FEE CRISIS

Tuition fee has become a major headache in the education sector since the shutdown began. The private institutions launched online classes, but many of the parents do not find it reasonable to pay for the lessons the children are learning online.

The government has ordered the private educational institutions to only take tuition fees to end problems over the issue amid the pandemic, but the situation has become more complicated.

The institutions say they are failing to pay the teachers and staff, and facing difficulties to continue operations without the other fees.

After demonstrations by groups of parents, some schools agreed to cut one or two months’ fees, or remit the fees for those who lost their job due to the pandemic.

Many kindergartens have been closed for good as they could not continue paying rents. Many of the teachers of these institutions have switched jobs while others are having trouble finding an alternative source of income.

As the year ends with serious questions hanging over the fate of teachers, the wait for answers is set to continue.

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