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Chinese Ambassador Hails Bangladeshi Students as ‘Bridge of Hope’

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Chinese Ambassador Bangladeshi

Chinese Ambassador Yao Wen has highlighted the pivotal role of young Bangladeshi students as the “bridge of hope” in carrying forward the tradition of friendship between China and Bangladesh. Speaking at a reception, Ambassador Yao encouraged these students to value the present and invest in their studies with dedication.

He advised that their learning journey should encompass not only professional courses but also an understanding of Chinese history and culture. Beyond attending lectures, the ambassador urged them to explore the local streets, engage with Chinese friends, and embrace cultural exchange.

The Embassy of China in Dhaka hosted a farewell reception for the recipients of the 2023 Chinese Government Scholarship (CGS) on a recent evening. During the event, Toufique Hasan, Director-General of the East Asia and Pacific Wing of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Munshi Faiz Ahmed, former Ambassador of Bangladesh to China and head of the Association of Bangladesh-China Alumni (ABCA), formally presented CGS admission letters to the Bangladeshi scholars. Representatives from ABCA and the students’ parents also graced the occasion.

Ambassador Yao emphasized that both China and Bangladesh share rich histories and vibrant cultures, fostering a strong neighborly relationship and friendship since ancient times.

In a notable gesture, on the eve of International Children’s Day, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote a letter to a young Bangladeshi, Alifa Chin, encouraging her to pursue education, follow her dreams, contribute to society, and serve her country. Ambassador Yao underscored that President Xi Jinping’s sincere message is aimed at all Bangladeshi youth, representing a promising future for China-Bangladesh relations.

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Primary Schools in Divisional Cities Closed for Safety

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Primary Schools

The Primary and Mass Education Ministry has declared the closure of all primary schools within the city corporation areas of eight divisional cities, citing concerns for children’s safety.

Senior Information Officer Mahbubur Rahman stated, “The class programs of these institutes will remain closed until further instruction. The decision has been taken considering the safety of the children.”

Additionally, the ministry has suspended classes at primary schools managed by the Shishu Kalyan Trust and learning centers operated by the Bangladesh Bureau of Education Information and Statistics.

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Uni Teachers Halt Classes Over Pension Scheme

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Pension teacher

Demanding the withdrawal of the “Prottoy” universal pension scheme, teachers at public universities across the country, including Dhaka University, have suspended all academic and administrative activities indefinitely starting today (1 July).

No classes or exams have taken place on campus since this morning.

“The protest against the new pension scheme has commenced with the suspension of academic activities. It will persist until the government withdraws the scheme,” stated Dr. Akhtarul Islam, president of the Bangladesh University Teachers Samity Federation.

However, a visit to the geography department of Dhaka University revealed that administrative activities not involving teachers remained operational.

“The administrative offices are open, but all classrooms are locked,” said Fariha, a geography department student.

Nizam Haq Bhuiyan, general secretary of the Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), announced a two-day protest with teachers’ demands.

“Our program will begin at 12pm in front of the Faculty of Arts today and continue until 1pm,” he said.

Today also marks the 104th founding anniversary of Dhaka University. Students were seen attending the program at TSC despite light rain.

On 13 March, the government introduced the Prottoy scheme for employees joining public universities and other organisations under the scheme from 1 July 2024 onwards.

However, those who joined these institutions before 1 July 2024 will continue to receive their previous pension benefits.

In addition to public universities, employees in autonomous, state-owned, and other statutory organisations, along with their subordinates, will also be included in the pension scheme, set to be implemented from Monday.

Public university teachers have been protesting their inclusion in the Prottoy scheme since its announcement and have vowed to continue their protest until it is withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the National Pension Authority has stated that they are ready to implement the scheme from Monday as per the government’s decision.

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HSC, Equivalent Exams Underway Across Bangladesh

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HSC

The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams commenced across Bangladesh this morning, excluding the Sylhet division.

In Sylhet, the exams will begin on July 9 due to flooding, according to a Ministry of Education directive. The Sylhet Education Board Chairman, Rama Bijoy Sarkar, stated that new dates for the Bangla-I, II, and English-I and II papers will be announced later.

Nationwide, a total of 14,50,790 students from nine general education boards, the Madrasha Board, and the Technical Board are expected to take the exams at 2,275 centers from 9,463 educational institutions.

Among the candidates, 11,28,281 are from general boards, 88,076 from the Madrasha Board, and 2,34,433 from the Technical Board. Additionally, 281 students will take the exams from eight overseas centers.

Following tradition, all coaching centers are required to remain closed from June 29 to August 11.

Last year, 13,59,342 students participated in the examinations from all boards.

The HSC written exams will continue until August 11, followed by practical exams from August 12 to August 21. Exams under the Technical Board will end on July 18, with practical exams scheduled from July 19 to August 4.

Students must enter exam centers 30 minutes before the exams start. The question paper codes will be sent via SMS 25 minutes before the exams begin. Only exam center in-charges are allowed to carry mobile phones inside the centers.

Only examinees, center invigilators, ministry teams, board teams, local administration, upazila administration teams, and security personnel are permitted inside the exam centers.

In Dhaka, the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Metropolitan Police will assist examinees during the exams, as previously announced.

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