Dhaka University authorities have decided to start the classes of new semester online without taking exams , aiming to avert session jams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A letter issued by the university registrar was sent to all departments and institutions asking them to start next semester classes. "Students are participating and teachers are holding online classes regularly," read the notice.
Deputy Registrar of the university Munsi Shams Uddin confirmed the matter to UNB.
All the educational institutions including the university suspended academic activities on March 15 to curb the spread of Covid-19. DU introduced online classes from first week of July following directives of the University Grants Commission(UGC).
Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman said, "We’ve decided to start next semester classes online to lessen the academic losses of the students."
Replying to a question about online assessment, the VC said, "We have no credible software to take virtual exams. We are not thinking about exams. It will be taken after reopening of the university,"
‘O’ level examinations are scheduled to begin from Monday, three days after the ‘A’ level examinations kicked off.
British Council is hosting the examinations following guidelines of World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Department amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘A’ and ‘O’ level examinations will continue till October 23.
The Education Ministry issued a notice on Sep 23, allowing the authorities concerned to hold the examinations on conditions that they follow health guidelines, allow 1,800 students to take exams every day at 35 venues, maintain a six-foot gap between examinees.
It said the British Council will have to bear responsibility if any student is infected with Covid-19.
On Sept 30, the High Court turned down a writ petition seeking a stay on the process of holding ‘A’ level ‘O’ level examinations this year amid the pandemic.
‘A’ level student Tamanna Tabassum Kabir filed the writ petition on Sep 27 stating that students failed to prepare for the examination as classes remained suspended for six months.
On Sep 23, the British Council in a statement said this year the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), ‘A’ level and ‘O’ level examinations under October-November (2020) session will be held in due time.
It also secured approval from the Education Ministry in this regard.
Classes of grade XI (2020-2021 academic year) will begin online from October 4.
The decision was taken to continue the study of the class XI students.
An order was issued in this regard by the Inter-Education Board Coordination Subcommittee which asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps.
All educational institutions were closed on March 16 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The closure has been extended in phases and on Thursday, the government decided to keep the educational institutions shut until Oct 31.
Also read: Class XI admission process begins
The government has again extended the closure of educational institutions, except Qawmi madrasas, until October 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
MA Khayer, public relations officer of the Education Ministry, confirmed the matter on Thursday.
During this extended closure, students are directed to stay home to ensure their safety, he said.
District administrations across the country have been asked to monitor the matter, Khayer added.
The government on Wednesday decided to extend the closure of educational institutions as there has been no improvement of the virus outbreak.
“The leave is being extended considering the current situation. We must extend the closure. The date will be announced later,” Education Minister Dipu Moni said during an online interaction with reporters on Wednesday.
All educational institutions were closed on March 16 to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The closure has been extended in phases and the government’s officials concerned say the time is not appropriate to open them.
The government is going to announce a fresh schedule for the long-stalled Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations either on Monday or Tuesday next.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni on Wednesday came up with the disclosure at a virtual press conference on different issues relating to the education sector.
"We’ve worked out various steps regarding the HSC examinations, and we’ll be able to announce our full plan, including the exam schedule, by Monday or Tuesday next,” she said.
The minister said they will reveal their detailed plans about the extent of the exams and their method.
She, however, said they will give the student at least four weeks to prepare for the exams. “We’ll try to complete the exams in the shortest possible time. We’ll come up with our all plans and proposals on Monday or Tuesday. We’ll take every step in a way so that the exams are not hampered and the students can sit for the tests without any worry.”
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni.
Dipu said they will also inform how those who cannot take the exams for various reasons will be evaluated.
The HSC and equivalent examinations were scheduled to begin on April 1, but the government was forced to postpone it on March 22 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Replaying to a question, the minister said they all have the preparations, including preparing questions, for the HSC exams as those were postponed at the last stage. “But even if one guardian goes to centers with each of the 14 lakh students, around 25-30 lakh people, including the teachers, will have involvement with the exams. Most of them will use public transport. That's why we’re taking time to take decisions on it.”
She said they will take the exams on the full syllabus since the previous tests were opposed just a few days before the scheduled time.
Dipu said they are making their plans keeping various alternatives since the experts have issued a warning about the possible second wave of coronavirus during the winter.
“Some people are seeking a process of evaluation without examinations, and we’re not ruling out this option as we may not take the exams despite making all efforts. So, we’ve to think about the possibility of evaluation without examination,” she added.
Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, Secondary and Higher Education Secretary Md Mahbub Hossain and Technical and Madrasa Education Secretary Md Aminul Islam Khan joined the press conference online.