Bangladesh Schools Reopen Amid Ongoing Heatwave, With Precautions

Bangladeshi schools reopen amid record-breaking heatwave, with shortened classes and limited outdoor activities to protect students' health and safety.

Muhammad Jawad
New Update
Bangladesh Schools Reopen Amid Ongoing Heatwave, With Precautions

Bangladesh Schools Reopen Amid Ongoing Heatwave, With Precautions

Bangladeshi secondary schools and colleges reopened on April 28, 2024, after a seven-day closure due to an intense heatwave gripping the country. The Ministry of Education announced that daily assemblies at these institutions will remain suspended until the heat becomes more tolerable, and outdoor activities exposing students to direct sunlight will be limited.

The decision to resume classes comes with directives to shorten class durations and hold academic activities on Saturdays to compensate for the education losses caused by the closure. Primary schools with one shift will conduct classes from 8:00 am to 11:30 am, while those with two shifts will have classes from 8:00 am to 9:30 am and 9:45 am to 11:30 am. Pre-primary level classes will remain closed until further notice due to health risks.

The ongoing heatwave, which has lasted for 28 consecutive days, is the longest on record in Bangladesh. The highest temperature was recorded at 42.7°C in Chuadanga district on the previous day. The extreme heat has caused significant discomfort for residents, disrupted agriculture, and led to a surge in heat-related illnesses, with hospitals reporting a high number of patients suffering from heatstroke, dehydration, and other complications.

Why this matters: The prolonged heatwave in Bangladesh has not only forced school closures but also poses severe health risks to millions of people in the densely populated country. The government's decision to reopen schools with precautionary measures reflects the challenge of balancing education and public safety amid the ongoing climate crisis.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department has warned that the heatwave may persist throughout May, with the possibility of record-breaking temperatures despite some expected rainfall in parts of the country. The government has issued directives to hospitals to take extra measures to address the crisis, and doctors have advised people to stay indoors, wear suitable clothing, and consume more liquid to avoid dehydration.

Key Takeaways

  • Bangladeshi schools reopened on April 28, 2024, after a 7-day closure due to heatwave.
  • Class durations shortened, Saturday classes added to compensate for lost education.
  • Ongoing heatwave, longest on record, caused discomfort, disrupted agriculture, health issues.
  • Government reopened schools with precautions, balancing education and public safety.
  • Heatwave may persist through May, with record-breaking temps despite expected rainfall.