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Students worst sufferers of hartal, blockades

Reporter Name 344 Time View
Update : Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Students have been bearing the brunt of the destructive path of politics since September 28 as BNP and Jamaat continued anarchy in the name of political programmes like hartals and blockades casting a grim shadow over their academic activities across the country.

However, amid hartals and blockades country’s most educational institutions like schools, colleges, and universities are running their academic activities.

But, students’ attendance has dropped remarkably.

Fearing violence, most parents and guardians are reluctant to send their children to educational institutions, especially those who live far from schools, colleges and universities.

“We express deep concern about the safety of my daughters and sons during their commuting to and from schools, college and university in these challenging times,” a guardian said.

The government had planned to complete the primary and high schools’ final examinations by the current month. But if the blockade continues it will not be possible for the authorities to complete the final examinations as per the government plan.

Besides, authorities of many schools and colleges and universities have postponed scheduled examinations, compounding the stress and uncertainty over students’ studies.

This comes after almost two years of academic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the damages from which are yet to be fully recovered by the educational institutions.

So, uncertainty is also looming over holding public examinations, including the Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary Certificate examinations.

Session jam in different departments of public and private universities have already taken a heavy toll on the academic activities of students, as they are still waiting to sit for their Honours 1st 2nd, 3rd and 4th-year final examinations while Master’s final examinees are also facing the same problems.

Now the students are in a quandary about whether they would be able to participate in the examinations.

But the academic activities at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) are going on in full swing in order to recover the learning losses and avert session jam.

While teachers are now passing busy days with taking classes, the students with studying amid blockades and hartals.

As a result, a joyous mood is prevailing on the university campus as all students, teachers and other staffs are doing their respective jobs.

Talking to this correspondent, the students expressed their satisfaction over smooth academic activities, saying their teachers are very friendly with them.

The students said they heaved a sigh of relief after completing their examinations.

When contacted SUST Vice-Chancellor Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed on Sunday told Bangladesh Post they want to set an example as the university is determined to make the institution free from session jam.

“And the university continued to come up with various measures so that students would not suffer session jam. Our teachers continue taking classes and holding the ‘term test’ examinations through helpful approach. Besides, all course teachers of different departments of the university are completing the ‘term test’ examinations,” he added.

Some students said after a pro-long shut caused by Covid-19 pandemic, they are now attending classes again and they are feeling good obviously.

Although hartals and blockades are affecting their academic activities, the university authorities’ time-befitting and smart decision are helping them to fill up the gap in order to recover learning losses.

“All the students of all the departments of the university are participating in the examinations. Teachers are cooperating with us in every possible way. We are really grateful to them,” a student said.

The students also added academic activities are in full swing so that there is no chance of a session jam, lauding the SUST authority’s dynamic, pragmatic and tireless efforts to make them relaxed and free the institution from the session jam amid hartals and blockades.

A big-scale change would take place on SUST within the next two months.

“We hope that a very big-scale change is going to take place. We are working hard to take our prestigious university to the highest height alongside making the institution a research hub,” Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed added.

The Vice Chancellor expressed his firm determination, saying the university authority wants to develop the institution as a model one.

Besides, the university authority also wants to set an example through its activities.

Apart from running academic activities, conducting research, practicing extra-curricular activities and arranging seminars and workshops on various crucial issues, the university authority is also implementing various development projects including expansion of cafeteria building.

The SUST also wants to make significant progress in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University ranking at any cost.

“In this context, teachers and students of university have also paid more attention on conducting researches in order to build skilled human resources for the country as it thinks a country cannot go ahead without scientific research works,” Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed told this correspondent in an exclusive interview.

Lack of support for research and a dearth of quality publications are the main reasons for Bangladeshi universities lagging behind in most of the world rankings.

“Therefore, if we want to take the country forward by continuing the trend of development, we have to create new knowledge through quality education and research,” The SUST VC said.

“We think our university will be turned into hub of research for generating knowledgeable and competent nation-building workforces.”

In this regard, we think a master plan will have to be prepared for education, research and infrastructural development of the university.

“Our teachers and students are coming up with innovative ideas and conduct more basic and applied research to contribute to the development of the nation.”

“And, we would also have to conduct more researches in every sector, particularly on the potential ones to make our development sustainable,” the SUST VC added.

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