Students of five batches of Political Science Department at Rajshahi University (RU) are afraid of getting stuck in an unprecedented session jam due to a squabble between two groups of their teachers.
Academic activities of the department, including the process of holding the semester final examinations of these five batches, have come to an abrupt halt.
The frustrated students, who were supposed to sit for the final exams in October, alleged that they have become hostages to the teachers who are only thinking about their interests and yet to reach an agreement ending their conflict.
Sources from inside the department said the conflict began on July 27 when 11 teachers submitted a written complaint to Chairperson Prof Nasima Zaman accusing Assistant Prof Rukshana Parvin of slander allegedly committed both in and outside the classrooms.
Four days later, Parvin levelled counter allegations, including sexual harassment and embezzlement, against those 11 teachers to RU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Abdus Sobhan in presence of Prof Zaman.
That had prompted, within the first week of August, those teachers to lodge another complaint to the VC claiming themselves innocent, no confidence on Prof Zaman, demand an investigation making different allegations against her at a press briefing, the chairperson’s resignation and Parvin’s punishment.
The teachers also boycotted classes and exams at the same time.
Prof Zaman told the Dhaka Tribune that the teachers did not even respond to her last call for an academic committee meeting on October 16 to hold the semester final exams.
“Then I notified the exam controller about the situation. Now this is out of my hands. Whatever the administration decides, that will be implemented.”
To investigate, the university authorities had formed a three-member panel. Its chief Prof Akhter Farooque, dean of Science Faculty, said they submitted their findings in the first week of December.
Asked about that report, RU Pro-VC Prof Ananda Kumar Saha said he had no information regarding that.
Following the VC’s request, the protesting 11 teachers, including RU Teachers Association General Secretary Senior Prof Ruhul Amin, had returned to classes.
But they have been avoiding Prof Zaman’s hails in academic activities and boycotting the meetings of the academic and planning committees, putting a stop in the process of holding the final exams.
Reached for comment, one of them, Prof M Aminur Rahman declined to say anything on the matter, stating it was under investigation.