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No light at tunnel’s end

Students in the doldrums

Published : 09 Jun 2020 09:05 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 12:55 PM

University students are confused, bored and frustrated when confronted with thoughts about their future, due to the prolonged shutdown of their educational institutions amid the Covid-19 crisis.

They have lost interest in regular studies for being completely out of touch with their educational institutions, teachers and formal classes for the past nearly three months, students and teachers said.

The long study break leads to a dropout from the normal study track and a growing frustration over their future, they said.
Md Sher Ali Imon, a final year student of the University of Chattogram, told Bangladesh Post, “Our University had closed when only two exams of the 4th-year final were left. If I had finished the exams, I would have got the results, and would be able to apply for a job now.”

“Initially, I could continue studying despite the coronavirus fears, but I am losing the seriousness required for study as days are passing in uncertainty about our future,” said Imon, a student of the Statistics Department.

Sheikh Mehzabin Chitra, an Anthropology student at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology said, “Staying at home for days is harder than imagining for a university student. I’m getting bored over doing nothing, and ending up with mental stress.”

“Although our university started online classes on 2 April, 2020 just after a few days of the lockdown, it is almost useless. We started facing problems during online classes. We don’t understand as the network keeps buffering non stop. Our classmates, staying in the remote areas, cannot join the classes,” Chitra said.

Comparing the country’s online education with that in developed countries, she said, “The online classes in our country cannot be compared to the traditional classes. People might say that in other countries they are even taking exams but why can we not continue online classes. The answer is that we are not at their level of providing chances, we have to accept the truth.”

About online classes, Jagannath University Vice-Chancellor Dr.Mizanur Rahman said, “Our socio-economic condition has not created an environment for classes online. Starting classes online in this situation will create inequality among students.”
“However, teachers can record some reading materials and post it on YouTube if they want, so that students can be benefitted,” he added.

Anwar Hossian, a student of the University of Dhaka, said that the uncertainty regarding the examinations and jobs were causes for daily anxiety.

He said, “We remain completely in the dark about the reopening of educational institutions and when the examinations will be held.”

Sajib, a 3rd year student of DU said, “Tuition was my only income source. I lost my tuition 10 days after lockdown started. Now, I’m passing my days by borrowing money from my friends and relatives.”

“I’m very much frustrated now as I do not know when educational institutions will open and when I get tuition or a part time job,” he said.

Dhaka University former Vice-Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique also expressed anxiety over the holding of examinations, online classes and future of the candidates for the break in study.

He told Bangladesh Post, “There is no alternative to formal education in our country. A large number of students, especially those in villages, are bearing the brunt. Most of them remain completely out of study.”

Under the circumstances, he suggested studying different online books to remain on the study track as it is not known when the situation will become convenient to allow students to go to educational institutions.