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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Can’t put lives of students in danger: PM

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Admitting the losses Bangladesh’s education sector has suffered for the prolonged closure of educational institutions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the government cannot put the lives of students at stake knowing it clearly that Covid-19 will infect them as well.

“Children are also getting infected by coronavirus. [This is good] they’ll learn but the question is whether we should force them to the verge of death knowing this virus will infect them, too,” Sheikh Hasina said, reports UNB.

The Prime Minister said this while delivering her winding-up speech at the budget session in Parliament as a number of opposition MPs, including deputy leader of the opposition GM Quader, criticised the government for keeping educational institutions shut for an indefinite period.

Sheikh Hasina, also the leader of the house, said the government will open the educational institutions after vaccinating students.

She mentioned that the parents of students are also not interested in sending their children to educational institutions. “Those who’re most vocal about it have no children who are students or their children have already completed their education.”

Hasina said the government has already vaccinated the teachers and will provide vaccines for the students following the instructions of the World Health Organisation (WHO). “We’ve to follow WHO. Keeping that point in mind, we’ve started our job regarding vaccination of the students.”

Talking about the problem of getting coronavirus vaccines, the Prime Minister said the government has procured vaccines from India with cash. “But the sudden spike in coronavirus infections in India forced the country to impose a ban on vaccine export. We’ve faced problems for some days,” she admitted.

Hasina informed the House that a good number of doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Sinopharm vaccines have already arrived in the country. “We’re also communicating with the countries where the vaccines of coronavirus are available. We’ll procure more vaccines; we’ll buy, no matter what the price is. For that, we’ve allocated separate funds.”

The Prime Minister said the government is communicating with China, Russia, the USA, Japan and Australia to collect vaccines, and the government will provide free vaccines to up to 80 percent of people. “We’ve made the Covid-19 test free as the number of infected people has surged at the district level in recent times,” she added.

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