Children in Bangladesh return to classrooms as schools reopen after 18 months, one of the world's longest coronavirus shutdowns.
The resumption came after UNICEF warned that prolonged school closures during the COVID-19 crisis were worsening inequities for millions of children across South Asia.
In the capital, Dhaka, students at one school were welcomed with flowers and sweets, and told to wear masks and sanitize their hands. Some hugged each other in excitement.
Only 41% of Bangladesh's population of 169 million have smartphones, according to the country's telecom operators' association, which means millions of children cannot access online classes.
Even with smartphones, students in many of Bangladesh's rural districts do not have the high-speed internet access usually required for e-learning. (AFP)