Government Temporarily Shuts Down Secondary Schools Nationwide as Heatwave Ravages Students
In response to the detrimental effects of an ongoing heatwave on student well-being, the government has declared the temporary closure of all secondary schools across the country, effective from Thursday. The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) officially released a circular on Wednesday, highlighting the urgent need to prioritize the safety and health of students amidst the scorching temperatures. The decision comes as temperatures in the capital city of Dhaka reached an all-time high, with records showing consecutive days of intense heat exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.
Over the past week, Dhaka has been experiencing a relentless heatwave, taking a toll on the daily lives of its residents. The sweltering conditions have posed significant risks, particularly for school-going children, as prolonged exposure to extreme heat can lead to dehydration, heatstroke, and other heat-related illnesses. Concerned authorities have been closely monitoring the situation and consulting with meteorological experts to assess the gravity of the heatwave.
The DSHE’s decision to suspend secondary school operations temporarily aims to safeguard students from the potentially hazardous consequences of the blistering heat. By implementing this measure, the government aims to prioritize the well-being of young learners, acknowledging the urgent need for a safe and conducive environment for educational pursuits. While the closure may disrupt academic schedules, ensuring the health and safety of students remains paramount.
To address the challenges presented by the heatwave, the government has been actively working to mitigate its impact. Local authorities have been instructed to initiate precautionary measures, such as providing adequate drinking water facilities, promoting awareness campaigns about heatstroke prevention, and urging citizens to remain indoors during peak daytime hours. Additionally, efforts are underway to equip schools with proper cooling systems and establish guidelines for managing extreme weather conditions in educational institutions.
Parents and guardians are advised to monitor weather updates regularly and take necessary precautions to safeguard their children from the adverse effects of the heatwave. The government, in collaboration with relevant agencies, will continue to closely monitor the situation and reassess the reopening of secondary schools once the heatwave subsides and conditions improve to ensure the safety and well-being of students.
Vietnam’s National Assembly President Attends Forum in Dhaka for Economic Collaboration with Bangladesh
Vuong Dinh Hue, the President of the Vietnam National Assembly, recently participated in an event held in Dhaka known as the ‘Forum on Policies and Laws to Foster Economic, Trade, and Investment Collaboration between Vietnam and Bangladesh.’ This significant gathering was jointly organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh, and in cooperation with key entities including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Vietnamese Business Association in Bangladesh.
The forum drew the presence of a distinguished high-level delegation from the Vietnamese National Assembly, alongside prominent figures from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and a substantial representation from businesses on both sides. Additionally, various ministries from both Vietnam and Bangladesh were represented.
During the forum, three notable business-to-business Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were inked. These agreements included collaboration between BMH Vietnam Company and Doreen Group Bangladesh, focusing on investment cooperation, technology transfer, and the advancement of pre-engineered steel production. Another agreement was reached between Bangladesh Vietnam Development Assistance Company and the Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Association, with a specific focus on pharmaceutical exchange. Lastly, Huong Giang Aviation Services and the Bangladesh Tourism Association came together to establish a tourism alliance, marking a significant step in enhancing tourism ties between the two nations.
As part of his official three-day tour, Vuong Dinh Hue visited the state-of-the-art facilities of Beximco Pharma in Tongi, where he received an informative presentation and toured the manufacturing facility.
Bangladesh’s Commitment to SDGs Unshaken Despite Global Challenges, Says PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reaffirmed her government’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), even in the face of challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the climate crisis. She made this declaration during a meeting with Helen Clark, Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), at the United Nations Headquarters.
As part of her commitment to healthcare services accessibility for all citizens, PM Sheikh Hasina mentioned the implementation of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011-2030) and a 27% increase in healthcare sector allocations for the current fiscal year 2023-24.
Helen Clark commended Bangladesh’s exceptional progress in healthcare under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, citing the nation’s remarkable achievements in reducing maternal and child mortality rates and ensuring universal healthcare services.
Bangladesh’s GDP Growth to Reach 6.5% in FY24: ADB
Bangladesh’s economy is anticipated to expand by 6.5% in fiscal year 2024, reflecting an improvement in domestic demand and enhanced export growth, as per the recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) report titled “Asian Development Outlook (ADO) September 2023.” This growth projection is slightly higher than the 6.0% recorded in the previous fiscal year, driven by a recovering euro area.
Inflation is predicted to decrease to 6.6% in the current fiscal year, down from 9.0% in FY2023. Additionally, the current account deficit is expected to narrow marginally, from 0.7% of GDP in the previous fiscal year to 0.5% in FY2024, thanks to improved remittance growth.
The report identifies the main risk to this growth projection as a potential deterioration in export growth if global demand remains weaker than anticipated.
ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting commented on the government’s effective management of external economic uncertainties, highlighting ongoing infrastructure development and crucial reforms aimed at enhancing the investment climate. These structural reforms encompass bolstering public financial management, mobilizing domestic resources, optimizing logistics, and deepening the financial sector to foster private sector growth, diversify exports, and create productive employment opportunities in the medium term.
The report also underscores the importance of addressing climate change by expanding domestic renewable energy supply in the context of elevated oil prices.
The revival of private consumption, driven by moderate inflation and increased remittances, coupled with the completion of significant government infrastructure projects boosting investment, is expected to stimulate economic growth. However, the initial uptick in interest rates following adjustments to the country’s monetary policy framework may temper private investment.
Inflation is projected to ease due to lower global non-fuel commodity prices, increased agricultural production, and the initial tightening of monetary policy under the new framework.
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