Thousands of students throng cyber cafes to apply for stipends in Panchagarh

Thousands of students thronged cyber cafes in Panchagarh to apply for stipends by the stipulated time and waited for hours but most of them could not complete the online registration on Sunday.

Many chose to leave their documents with the shops paying service charges. Sunday was the last date for stipend application.

They say they had to pay between Tk 50 and Tk 100 for certificates from their respective institutions.

A notice of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) dated March 7 said that the deadline for application for special allowances for educational institutions, teachers, staff and students was extended until March 15 considering the Covid-19 situation.

Long queues of students were seen at computer shops in Panchagarh’s Riajuddin Market, Kodomtola Bazar, Cinema Hall Road, and beside the Panchagarh-Tetulia Highway.

They said they learned about the special allowance from various mediums, their teachers and guardians. The huge number of students caused huge traffic congestions.

Abu Hanif, owner of Hanif Computers at Riajuddin Market, said they have been facing server glitches for the last one week. “Students are thronging the shop. We’re charging them Tk 100 for registration,” he said.

Rashidul Alam of the same market said they could hardly finish registration of the applications. “We cannot access the server. Over 150 applicants gave us their documents and service charge,” he said.

Staffs at the internet cafes say students can apply for an allowance of Tk 10,000 with recommendation letters from their educational institutions, NIDs, NID cards of their parents and a mobile number with Nagad account.

“We came to register at the order of our headmaster,” said Rani, a ninth grader at the district’s Uttar Darjipara High School. “But we could not complete registration because of server and network issues.”

She said 65 of them left their documents and money at two cyber cafes.

Panchagarh Government Girls’ School’s Headmaster Md Mahamudul Haq said he had not received any government letter about stipend or special allowance. “But many of my students have taken recommendation letters from us,” he said.

Md Mojibor Rahman, Principal of Panchagarh Government Mahila College said they had provided recommendation letters to about 300 students.

But the district’s Education Officer Md Shahin Akter said he was unaware of any announcement about Tk 10,000 stipend.

Source: United News of Bangladesh