The government plans to open the universities after vaccinating only the students who stay in residential halls rather than vaccinating all of them
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended that the universities be reopened after vaccinating all students.
The UGC has also decided to let the universities’ academic councils decide whether and how they want to take in-person examinations.
The observations were made at an emergency meeting of the UGC on Thursday, according to UGC Secretary Prof Ferdous Zaman.
He said that the UGC would send a formal proposal to the Health Ministry on Sunday recommending not to open universities before ensuring vaccination of all students.
The Education Ministry officials would also submit a separate proposal to the Education Ministry and Health Ministry on the same day.
A decision on reopening universities would be taken after a meeting between the UGC, the vice-chancellors of all public universities and the Education Ministry on Monday.
Prof Ferdous Zaman said, those who stayed in the residential halls were not the only ones at risk and that those who lived in shared accommodations, such as mess accommodations. were equally at risk.
Therefore, all students should be vaccinated before opening the universities, he added.
However, the Ministry of Education had proposed reopening the universities after vaccinating 130,000 students who stayed at the residential halls, which is about half of all students in the public universities of the country.
Education Minister Dipu Moni said that the dormitories and campuses of universities would reopen after ensuring vaccinations for residential students and teachers.
The Education Ministry also asked the UGC for a list of students who had already been vaccinated.
A member of the UGC, preferring anonymity, told Dhaka Tribune that the decision to reopen the university depended on vaccination. The UGC wanted to ensure vaccination of all students and teachers so that there were no externally created risks after reopening.
The government had shut down the country's educational institutions in the wake of the spread of the Covid-19 virus in March last year. Since then, the closure has been extended multiple times in phases.