Emphasising on online classes to recoup the losses caused by the suspension of academic activities due to coronavirus outbreak, Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman has said internet access for all students needs to be ensured before taking any decision in this regard.
“We (DU authority) are working with all the stakeholders to resume academic activities but also considering various aspects. Our deans will coordinate with the departments of their respective faculties to verify the feasibility of online classes and make decisions after ensuring access to technical facilities…It needs to be ensured that students have access to internet facilities,” he told UNB.
Many private universities have already started online classes as the UGC on March 24 urged teachers to take classes online so that academic activities are not interrupted.
The DU VC said although some universities have started taking classes online, the DU authorities will not make any hasty decision.
He said not all students of the university are from the same background and some have very limited access to internet.
“We have to think about each student’s interest,” he said.
Dr Akhteruzzaman noted that students may suffer session jam if the coronavirus pandemic persists for unusually long time.
“The threat of session jam is certainly looming. Education system not only in our country but almost in the entire world has come to a halt,” he said.
“We are in talks with all the relevant stakeholders for resuming academic activities while also being considerate about the lethality of the pandemic,” Prof Akhteruzzaman said.
“We are working to map out possible plans to avert session jams and to ensure that students’ time does not go to waste,” he added.
Dean of Social Science Faculty Prof Sadeka Halim resonated with this statement and said that the university authorities will prioritise the safety of the students, teachers and staff.
“We aren’t taking any decision that can put their lives in danger. The pandemic is a global crisis and human life comes before anything else,” she said.
She also said the possibilities of online classes are still being assessed and all the deans are in talks with the departments under their respective faculties.
“Not all students of the university have the means, and many live in remote areas where internet access is limited. Moving to online classes without considering their troubles will be an unjust move. We’re working to find an alternative,” she told UNB.