University Grant Commission (UGC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Grameen Phone Limited (GP) in an effort to facilitate the online classes in different public and private universities during the Covid-19 pandemic .
Dr Ferdous Zaman, secretary of UGC and Kazi Mahbub CEO of GP signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides on Thursday.
As per the MoU, the GP will provide internet data package at low cost to the students and faculty members of different private and public universities, said a press release issued on Thursday.
UGC Chairman Professor Dr Kazi Shahidullah presided over the ceremony at zoom platform.
Addressing the event, the UGC chairman said, “The agreement will play an important role in running online education activities and meet the need of students.”
He also thanked Grameen Phone to facilitate the initiative.
Students of public and private universities will be provided with internet bandwidth of state-owned mobile operator Teletalk at a nominal price to help continue their online education activities.
University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC) made the disclosure through a press release on September 2, saying students of the universities under UGC run platform BdREN will get the opportunity.
BdREN is a high performance data Communications network providing connectivity among higher education and research institutions in both public and private sectors.
The education ministry is yet to choose between reopening schools and colleges and extending the shutdown. However, it hopes to make a decision before November 14.
Education Minister Dipu Moni said this on Wednesday while attending a virtual program of the unveiling of a survey on online education conducted by Bangladesh Education Reporters' Forum.
The study shows that 42% of secondary level and 58% higher secondary level students are taking part in online education.
And internet cost has gone up to Tk1,000 for 54% of students and 94% of participants have access to smartphones.
Closure of educational institutions
Earlier on Oct 29, the government extended the closure of educational institutions until November 14 to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The previously announced shutdown ended on October 31.
No annual exams for secondary school students
The government has decided not to hold any annual exam for secondary school students this year due to the pandemic.
Also, the Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) exams will not be held this time.
"No exam will be held this year and the students will be promoted to the next class without taking any test. A decision about awarding certificates will be taken later," Dipu Moni said on October 21.
No HSC exam this year
Meanwhile, the government also decided not to hold any Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams this year.
Also, there will be no Primary Education Completion (PEC), and equivalent Ebtedayee exam for 2020, and the students will be promoted to the next class through class assessments instead.
UGC directives for online education
On May 7, the University Grants Commission (UGC) published a guideline on conducting courses online, including teaching, arranging exams, making assessments, and also private university admission tests.
Bangladesh's Covid-19 picture
Bangladesh on Wednesday reported 1,733 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, bringing the caseload to 425,353.
Also, 19 more patients died from the virus at that time, taking the fatalities to 6,127.
So far, 343,131 patients – 80.67% – including 1,715 new ones in the past 24 hours have recovered.
The authorities of Islamic University (IU) in Kushtia have decided not to take part in the uniform admission test system.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the IU admission test committee with Vice-Chancellor Professor Shaikh Abdus Salam in the chair, IU Information, Publication and Public Relations Office said in a statement on Monday night.
Among others, IU Pro-VC Professor M Shahinoor Rahman, chairmen and deans of different departments were present at the meeting.
IU acting Registrar SM Abdul Latif said that the university authorities will conduct its entry test for the students as per its previous system.
“Most of the departments opposed holding the admission test under a unified admission test system and that’s why we aren’t joining it,” he said.
Further information regarding the admission test would be finalised from the next meeting, he added.
On January 23, the University Grants Commission (UGC) decided to introduce a uniform entry test in all public universities from the academic year 2020-21, aiming to reduce the plight of the admission-seekers and their guardians.
Dhaka University (DU) has decided to drop the undergraduate admission tests of D and E units – held for social science and fine arts faculties – from the 2021-22 academic year.
The university will only arrange admission tests for three units – science, arts, and business studies from now on, the DU Deans’ Committee came up with the decision on Sunday.
However, there will be no change in this year’s admission test. The new decision will be effective from the next one.
The move was made keeping in mind three core groups – science, arts, and business studies – at the higher secondary level, DU Vice-Chancellor M Akhtaruzzaman told the reporters.
“The names of three units will be declared later on. And the outline of the tests will be prepared through a series of discussions and scrutinies.”
Saying that the move will come into effect from the 2021-2022 academic year, Akhtaruzzaman added that there will be no intake exams for D and E units from now. “We have decided to lower the number of honors admission tests and the stress of admission-seekers.”
Humayun Kabir Jibon of United News of Bangladesh (UNB) and Irfan Mahmud Rana of NTV have been elected as president and general secretary respectively of Islamic University Journalists’ Association (IUJA).
The election was held at the Press Corner adjacent to the university’s Birshrestha Hamidur Rahman Auditorium around 10:30am on Saturday.
IU Student Advisor Professor M Saidur Rahaman conducted the election as chief election commissioner while Information, Publication and Public Relations office acting director M Ataul Haque and IUJA former president M Suza Uddin were the assistant election commissioners.
After the election, IU vice-chancellor Professor Shaikh Abdus Salam announced the result as the chief guest while pro-vice-chancellor Professor M Shahinoor Rahman, acting registrar SM Abdul Latif were present as special guests.
The other office bearers of the committee are- Humayun Kabir Shuvo of Bangladesh Post elected vice-president, Atikur Rahman Ony of Manabkantha joint-secretary, Shahab Uddin Washim of Jaijaidin office secretary, Emanul Shohan of Desh Rupantor treasurer, Shahedul Islam Shahed of BSS publicity secretary, TH Jayeem of Nayadiganta and Biplob Khandokar of Inqilab executive members.
The committee has been elected for the next one year.
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