Public varsity students to face session jams

Online classes not fruitful, no alternative to formal education: Educationists

Published : 27 Sep 2020 10:55 PM | Updated : 06 Oct 2020 03:35 PM

Students of country’s public universities will face prolonged session jam as they are still in the dark about reopening of their institutions, educationists fear.

Educational institutions have remained closed since March 17. Some universities have just started online classes to minimize the losses of education during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, there is no specific instruction on reopening the universities and resuming the formal classes and examinations.

Although online classes have just started in public universities, students are still unable to cope with these classes.

In this situation, experts and university students expressed their fear over prolonged session jam and other academic jeopardy.

Aminul Islam Rana, a fourth-year-student of Dhaka University. His honors final year examinations were scheduled to begin in May. But it postponed for indefinite period due to covid-19. Rana is now staying at his village home in Dinajpur.

“The exams were supposed to end in July,” he told Bangladesh Post, adding, “There were various plans after completing exams. But now there is uncertainty in everything. Although online class has been started, I could not take part in it as I didn’t have uninterrupted internet access in the village.”

Many students, who were about to finish their study, are now passing their days in deep frustration.

“My final year examinations were scheduled to end in March. All the examinations were held except two. Our scheduled examinations were postponed due to Covid-19,” said Nayon, an Honors final-year-student of University of Chittagong.

Expressing frustration, he also said that they can’t apply for any job as they did not get result.

“Now, it is totally uncertain when our exams will be started and when we will get our result,” he added.

Chittagong University Teachers Association (CUTA) President Professor Emdadul Haque told Bangladesh Post, “Science faculty students must attend practical classes. Without attending practical classes physically, it will not possible to teach them some particular courses.”

About online class, he said, “There is no alternative to face-to-face class. Online class is not fruitful at all, it’s just show off. Since the educational institution has been closed for a long time, we have just started online classes to bring students into the study.”

He further said, “If we want to conduct examination, we must reopen our dormitories. However, in this case question will be arisen whether it is possible to maintain physical distance or not in a dormitory or class.”

Dr Mohammad Ali Zinnah, Professor of Institute of Education and Research (IER) of Dhaka University, told Bangladesh Post, “It is not possible to take examination without completing the course. Most of the public university students are not familiar with online class or they have little opportunity. There is no alternative to formal education here.”

He also said, “If the universities remain shut until November, students may suffer nearly a­-year-long session jam.”

According to UGC sources, the number of students in higher education in the country is about 41 lakh. Of these, the number of students in 45 public universities is about three lakh.

And there are about four lakh students in 107 private universities. There are about 28 lakh students in 2,256 colleges affiliated to the National University, five lakh students in the Open University. And there are more than one lakh students in other higher education institutions including Arabic University.

Professor Abdul Mannan, former chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) told Bangladesh Post, “Online classes are a new experience for us. Universities are conducting classes according to their ability. But many teachers can’t do that classes. Specially, senior teachers have to learn it as a new.”

“The students of the colleges affiliated to the National University are lagging behind. They should also come forward in this regard,” he added.