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Take exams but don’t reopen halls: UGC

Public universities can take their semester final examinations at both the graduation and post-graduation levels, but cannot reopen dormitories amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh.

The decision was taken at a meeting, held online, with UGC Chairman Prof Kazi Shahidullah in the chair on Sunday.

The Vice-Chancellors of 39 public universities joined the meeting.

The meeting said the universities will have to take necessary measures to hold the semester final examinations as per the decisions to be taken in their respective academic councils.

At the meeting, UGC Member Prof Muhammed Alamgir placed a seven-point recommendation over the semester final examinations and practical classes and assessments at the country’s public universities amid the pandemic.

The first recommendation is that the public universities may take necessary steps as per the decisions of their respective academic councils regarding the semester final examinations of undergraduate and postgraduate students to recover their irreparable losses of education due to the global pandemic of Covid-19.

The second recommendation says that the unfinished practical classes in science, technology, agriculture, medicine and other disciplines and their assessment should be completed in phases following health rules.

The third recommendation is that the students of the final semesters will be given priority in completing the semester exams, practical classes and assessments.

The fourth recommendation he mentioned is that the residential halls of the universities should be kept closed as the educational institutes remain closed due to Covid as per government directives.

According to the fifth recommendation, the examinations and practical classes will have to be completed in full compliance with health rules keeping in mind the health protection of the students. For this, students will have to enter their campuses one hour before the examination and practical classes and leave the campuses within one hour after the exam and practical classes.

The sixth recommendation is that the online academic activities of the educational institutes will have to continue due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The seventh and final recommendation is that the universities will have to properly follow the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization to prevent the Coronavirus spread.

Addressing the meeting, UGC Chairman Dr Shahidullah said the committees concerned, including the deans’ committees and the academic councils of the public universities will take the final decision on holding the examinations.

He urged the authorities of the universities to be careful so that no question arises about the standards of the examinations.

The UGC chairman advised them not to hurry in taking the examinations and hold theses in phases as per their own capacities.

The vice-chancellors informed the meeting that online teaching continues due to the pandemic.

But the students have got upset for not holding the examinations, and the online educational activities will not be fruitful if the exams and assessments are not held, they said.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has recently published a circular for holding the 43rd BCS examination aiming to recruit 1,814 different cadre officers.

In this regard, the Vice-Chancellors urged the UGC to send a letter to the PSC asking for extending the application deadline, said a UGC media release.

Source: United News of Bangladesh