About 60 percent of the private universities in the country have started holding classes online to keep academic activities on track
Maimuna Manita Hoque, a final-year student of computer science and engineering at East Delta University, was busy at her home on Wednesday taking four online classes.
She has not missed any classes since her university closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though the university campus is shut, students have been asked to take part in routine classes from their homes. Like Anita, all students of the university have been taking online classes so that their study is not hampered.
About 3.5 lakh students study at 105 private universities in Bangladesh. Like East Delta, a majority of these universities have been holding classes online since their campuses were closed amid the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Brac University, United International University, Daffodil International University, American International University Bangladesh, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) , South East University, Northern University, Asia Pacific University, Prime Asia University are offering online classes.
A good number of universities are also offering online classes for certain courses, Association of Private University Bangladesh (APUB) sources said.
Sheikh Kabir Hossain, president of APUB told The Business Standard that about 60 percent of the private universities in the country have started online classes.
"We have asked the universities to take this initiative in the interest of students so that they can complete their semester on time," he added.
"The university has asked us to prepare our rooms at home to take online classes. We have taken all necessary preparations including setting up of a computer with internet connection as per the university's instructions," Manita said.
"Our teachers are delivering lectures as per our class routine. We enjoy the online classes. It feels like we are taking part in classes in the university classrooms," she added.
"My final exam is scheduled to be held in the second week of April. It would have been impossible to complete our courses if we missed classes amid the coronavirus situation," Anital maintained.
Educationists said that tertiary level students, especially those who are studying at public universities, will not be able to cope with the changing situation amid the coronavirus outbreak if the universities do not continue their classes.
Meanwhile, colleges and universities worldwide continue to close or move lessons online to restrict students and educators from assembling in large numbers and in crowded places where Covid-19 transmission could take place.
Vice-Chancellor of East Delta University, Professor Muhammad Sekandar Khan told The Business Standard they have introduced online classes considering the students' future.
"Actually, we don't know how long the present coronavirus situation will last. So, we cannot close the door of knowledge," he added.
"Obviously, this is new for us. But the teachers are very helpful, and they are constantly trying to make the lectures understandable. It is good for us because we normally pass our time at home idly. Now we are busy with classes and study," Kamrul Hasan, a student of IUBAT said.
Professor Dr Chowdhury Mofizur Rahman, vice chancellor of United International University said they started online classes on 18 March.
The response from students is good, he said, hoping that the classes will continue smoothly.
Prof Dr Abdur Rab, vice chancellor of IUBAT, said, "60 teachers are teaching 7,000 students of the university online."
He, however, said, "It is difficult for students to take part in classes online, as a good number of them do not have the necessary facilities at their home."
"But we cannot do much about it. We have to continue classes," he added.
Professor Engineer AKM Fazlul Hoque, registrar of DIU, told The Business Standard that they had realised the matter at first in Bangladesh and that is why they started online classes.
"Basically, distance education is the only way during any natural disaster like the coronavirus," he said.