Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the University Grants Commission (UGC) said that necessary steps would be taken as per the decision of the academic council of the university in question to take the final examination of undergraduate and postgraduate levels in public universities of the country.
The decision was taken on Sunday at a virtual meeting with the vice-chancellors of 39 public universities headed by UGC Chairman Professor Dr Kazi Shahidullah, said a press release.
In the meeting moderated by UGC member Professor Dr Muhammad Alamgir; Professor Dr Md Sajjad Hossain; Professor Biswajit Chand; Professor Md Abu Taher; UGC Secretary (additional responsibilities) Dr Ferdous Zaman; Director of Public Relations and Information Rights Department Dr Shamsul Arefin; and Director of Public University Management Md Kamal Hossain were present.
During the meeting, Professor Dr Muhammad Alamgir made seven recommendations regarding final examinations, practical classes, and assessment in the public universities:
- Universities may take necessary steps as per the decision of the academic council in view of the recommendations of the relevant committees (on the final examinations of the undergraduate and postgraduate students) to compensate for the irreversible loss of education to the students (of public universities) owing to the Covid-19 crisis.
- Incomplete practical classes in science, technology, agriculture, medicine and other disciplines and their assessment should be completed in phases in compliance with health protocols.
- Students in their final semester will be given priority over others in completing the exams, practical classes, and assessments.
- Given that the government has directed educational institutions to be closed due to the coronavirus, residential halls of the universities should be kept closed as well.
- Exams and practical classes must be completed in full compliance with health protocols, taking students' safety and protection into consideration. Students may enter the campus no earlier than an hour before the start of the exam and/or practical class and leave the premises within an hour after completing them.
- Online education activities will continue.
- Universities must follow the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the corona virus.
During the meeting, the UGC chairman said that the final decision with regards to taking the exam would be taken by the deans committee of public universities, the academic council, and the relevant committees. He said it is imperative that no doubts are raised surrounding the standards of the tests being conducted.
The vice-chancellors informed meeting participants that online teaching is continuing amid the pandemic, and that the unfinished semester is in its final stages.
They added that students were disappointed that the exams were not held, saying that they would isolate themselves from the academic activities of the upcoming semesters.
Adding that online education will fall on deaf ears without exams or assessments, they said it is in the national interest to conduct the tests.
The Vice-Chancellors requested the UGC to submit a letter to the Public Service Commission to extend the application deadline for the recently announced Bangladesh Civil Service examinations.