40 lakh students fear session jam
About four lakh students in higher education fear that they could face an academic session jam as educational institutions in the country have virtually remained closed for the last six months.
Even the government is not able to hold the HSC exams now. Every year admission tests of universities usually start during September and October but this year that too is not going to be held due to coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the private universities are somewhat active with their online classes but public universities are yet to take any alternative classes. As a result, students are deeply concerned over their education life.
According to education officials, they have no record of percentage students participating in online learning activities during this pandemic period.
Former chairman of the University Grant Commission (UGC) Professor Abdul Mannan said almost 90 percent of the world's students are at a loss due to corona pandemic.
Even if the loss of the economy can be overcome, the loss of education cannot be overcome. The time that has passed from the life of the students cannot be returned."It is not possible for all students to take classes online, "he said.
According to UGC sources, there are about 41 lakh students in higher education in the country. The number of students in 44 public universities is about three lakh and in 103 private universities it is about four lakh.
Besides, there are 26 lakh students in 2,256 colleges under the National University. There are five lakh students at the Open University and some other higher educational institutions have about one lakh students.
Of them, most of the 26 lakh students of the National University are away from education. Online classes could not be launched well in remote areas due to various reasons including problems with internet connection and lack of digital devices.
Teachers also lack skills. The national university does not have such an initiative to solve these problems. As a result, teachers and students feel that there is a risk of long-time session jam in this university with the highest number of students. Open and Arabic universities are in the same trouble.
On the other hand, most of the public university students went to their village homes after the closure. Many of them are not able to take part in their online classes.
They are facing obstacles due to various reasons including lack of Smartphone or laptop, high cost internet and weak internet connection.
Educationists think that this is creating inequality in education. According to Principal Kazi Farooq Ahmed, a member of National Education Policy Formulation Committee, students who are unable to take classes online are lagging behind.
He thinks that this is creating inequality.
University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof Kazi Shahidullah said he was trying to strengthen online classes.
Initiatives have also been taken to provide low cost internet to students, he said.