August 4, 2021

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Thoughts on starting normal education activities

At present, almost everything is going according to the rules of hygiene. But not everyone is following the hygiene rules. However, educational institutions are still closed due to the risk of corona infection. There are also reasons to stay closed. It is better not to open primary schools and colleges. Because, small children study in those institutions. In addition, corona infection has not yet been brought under control. Admission test is usually held in the university after the result of HSC test. There should be examination centers in every district for taking admission test in the university, there will be no problem for the universities which are agreeing in cluster based system. Apart from this, the universities that are outside of this will have to set up district-wise examination centers in this way, which means that the crowds will be less and it will be easier to implement the examinations in compliance with the health rules.

On the other hand, I think that if the HSC examination is taken in the MCQ system this year, the preparation of the students for the university admission test will be completed together in the future. As a result, it is possible to overcome the time wasted in Corona. The government or the concerned authorities may now consider reopening the university. Because, those who study in the university are considered as more conscious and many students also want the university to be opened. I think it would be better to take a decision in this regard after discussing with the Vice-Chancellor and experts. In our country, the normal activities of the university can be started from next month, as the students are becoming lazy and impatient while staying at home. The government needs to pay attention to the fact that the mental condition of the students may deteriorate.

17-year-old firefighter Spondon takes online exams as part of distance learning as schools close in Bangladesh

17-year-old firefighter Spondon takes online exams as part of distance learning as schools close in Bangladesh
Photo: UNICEF website

However, even if the university cannot be fully opened, a decision must be made about the students who are in the last academic year of undergraduate or postgraduate level. Because, if it is too late to open the university, it will not be possible to reduce their losses. In these cases, the university should be opened strictly in accordance with the social distance and hygiene rules and there should be other instructions. And in the case of students of other batches, online education should be kept active.

I am not against online exams, but in our country where electricity goes out when there is a little storm or a little wind, many students live in villages and most of them are financially indigent, it is necessary to consider how reasonable it is to take final exams online. At the same time, it is not desirable for the students to be frustrated with the session. Therefore, it is becoming very important to follow the hygiene rules in the universities. Each university will have to convene a meeting of the Academic Council soon and arrange for examinations. Otherwise it will not be possible to compensate the students.

Thoughts on starting normal education activities

File photo: Mushtaq Ahmed

The constant demand of the students to open the educational institutions and the simultaneous human chain, the teachers are agreeing there, it means that there is some logical reason for the universities to be opened. So I think the government needs to think a little bit about this and give importance to the demands of teachers and students.

The concerned authorities should take appropriate action regarding the graduation admission test of the university, it would not be right to keep the students who have passed the HSC test for a long time, as many precious times of their lives have been lost in the Corona epidemic. Otherwise, the students may face various problems in the society including mental problems, such as many may join the teenage gang, that fear cannot be completely ruled out. Therefore, the Ministry of Education has to take a decision after considering all the issues.

We who are teachers understand very well that the university administration will open the university ignoring the government decision, it is hard to imagine. Therefore, it is time for the university administration to take practical steps to take all the exams as per the decision of the University Grants Commission.

Neighboring countries India and Pakistan have even taken steps to bring back normal education in schools, colleges and universities amid coronavirus infections. Because, it seems that such a decision has been taken to compensate the loss of the educational institution. Note that in all those countries but Corona has not yet come under control. In addition, all educational institutions in Wuhan, China, are now operating normally, where the corona originated.

* Author: Former President-Teachers Association, National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam University (ZakkanEB), Trishal, Mymensingh