• Wednesday, Jun 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:57 pm

Coronavirus: DU, Buet, other public universities suspend classes and exams

web_du-File photo of Curzon Hall, Dhaka University
File photo of Curzon Hall, Dhaka University Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Some universities ask resident students to vacate dormitories

Several public universities have suspended academic activities for varying degrees of time amidst fears related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcements coincided with the timing of the government issuing a directive decreeing all educational institutions under the Ministry of Education across Bangladesh  closed from March 18 till March 31.

The Dhaka University authorities have suspended all classes and examinations from March 18 till March 28 in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

DU Vice Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzman made the announcement after an emergency meeting held at the Prof Abdul Matin Virtual Classroom on the campus on Monday.

The 11 days when classes remain suspended will be adjusted with the forthcoming summer vacation.

Chaired by the VC, faculty deans, directors of all institutes, heads of all departments, and provosts attended the meeting that began some time after 10am.

Earlier, the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) recommended that the university authorities "shut the university down temporarily or announce an early summer vacation after rescheduling," and placed a memorandum to that effect to the VC on Sunday morning.

Echoing the student body representatives, the Dhaka University Teachers' Association and the Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers' Association issued statements concerning the coronavirus outbreak.

The students who had gone on a fast-unto-death on Saturday night demanding a shutdown of all academic activities and residential halls withdrew their strike on Sunday evening after being reassured by the university proctor and Ducsu leaders.

The Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) has also announced the suspension of all academic activities till March 31 as per the government's decision on Monday.

A press release signed by Prof Dr SM Mahbubur Rahman confirmed the decision.

The press release also instructed students staying in the university's dormitories to return to their homes as the dormitories would be closed from March 18 after 5pm.

The Jahangirnagar University (JU) administration has suspended academic activities from March 18 to April 2, and students have been asked to vacate the dormitories by 11am on March 19.

The decision was taken at an urgent syndicate meeting chaired by VC Prof Farzana Islam, said Acting Registrar Rahima Kaneez.

"All kinds of programs, including educational tours, campus visits, reunion programs, video shoots and concerts scheduled within this period have been postponed," she said.

Rajshahi University has decided to suspend classes and examinations from March 18 to March 31.

Confirming the matter, RU Public Relations Administrator Dr Provash Kumar Karmokar said the suspension of administrative activities had not been decided yet.

Resident students have been directed to evacuate the dormitories within March 18, as decided by the provosts' council on Monday afternoon, said the council's Convener Prof Abdul Alim.

Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (Sust) will remain closed from March 18 to March 31, according to the decision taken at an emergency syndicate meeting.

This was confirmed in a press release sent by the public relations office of Sust.

According to the press release, if the students want to stay in their dormitories during this period, they will have to do so at their own risk. They will also have to inform their dormitory office if they decide to do so.

The Khulna University authorities will suspend academic activities from March 18 to March 31. Resident students have been directed to leave the dormitories by 12 noon on March 18.

The dormitories will be opened again on March 31 at 10 am, with classes and examinations resuming on April 1.

The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by VC Prof Dr Md Fayek Uzzaman held on Monday at 4pm.

Jagannath University will remain shut from March 18 to March 31, its VC Mizanur Rahman told reporters on Monday morning.

Chittagong University (CU) has suspended all academic activities from March 18 to April 9 and residents of the dormitories have been asked to vacate their halls by 2pm on March 18.

The CU authorities took the decision at an emergency meeting on Monday.

Administrative activities of the university will remain suspended from March 29 to April 2.

Islamic University VC Prof M Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari has announced a suspension of all academic activities from March 18 to March 31, after holding an emergency meeting.

Examinations held under the National University (NU) have also been suspended from March 17 to March 31, said Faizul Karim, director of public relations of NU.

Meanwhile, all educational institutions in India’s Delhi, West Bengal and Goa will remain shut till the end of March as part of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Indonesia's capital city Jakarta will also close all schools, and has ordered remote teaching for at least two weeks, starting this week, to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has said.

The fast spreading coronavirus, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), has claimed more than 6,500 lives and infected around 170,000 people across the globe, according to worldometer.

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