A Covid-19 vaccination booth was also set up for the students
The Jahangirnagar University authorities have officially reopened its dormitories as preparation for classes and examinations to resume, after 17 months of Covid-induced closure.
Several thousand students of 16 dormitories were greeted with flowers, masks, and hand sanitizers on Monday morning.
The authorities also took steps to measure the students' body temperatures and ensure proper sanitization when they entered the campus. A booth was set up to vaccinate the students.
Abid Hossain, a fourth-year student, said: “As a master's student, I've been here in the green campus for a while and did not want to miss the chance to return to my hall again. I feel like this is my first year back at JU. ”
However, the 49th batch students (first year) could not move into the halls immediately. As per the authorities’ decision, those who have completed their first year exams and received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccin can move into the dormitories.
In this regard, the university administration stated that the first year students did not have designated rooms, and used to share “gono rooms” (a single large room shared by many freshers).
Chairman of the university's Provost Committee Md Mujibur Rahman said: "We are not allowing any students in the gono rooms for their own safety. The freshers will be given seats after the Master's students finish their exams.”
Angered by the decision, several first year students said the residence halls were closed just five days after the classes started on campus due to the pandemic. From then on, they had eagerly been waiting to return to the “gono rooms”.
Earlier, the authorities also set up a Covid-19 vaccine booth at the Wazed Miah Science Research Center for students.
Additional Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Professor Meerjady Sabrina Flora inaugurated the vaccination drive at 10:30am.
"Students who did not get vaccination after receiving SMS will be given priority during the immunization drive," she said.
Speaking to reporters, she said the government has geared up its nationwide vaccination drive to inoculate 70-80% of people against Covid-19 by March.
So far 20% of people have been vaccinated. A third dose of the vaccine has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization. Once approved, Bangladesh is expected to follow through.
On top of that, the university buses started operating from Monday onward, said Professor Ali Azam Talukdar, acting in-charge of the university's transport office.
Six buses will run for students on weekdays and five on weekends and other holidays. Additionally, 15 buses will be available for students from October 21.
“Nine buses are reserved for the first year students. At present, there are nine buses for teachers, but that number will be increased to 13 from October 21” he added.