Members of the University Teachers’ Network made the remarks during a virtual press briefing on Thursday
According to a group of teachers, the absence of precise planning and integrated guidance for properly implementing online classes in the country’s universities is hampering education and creating an insecure environment for students and teachers lacking facilities and necessary tools.
Members of the University Teachers’ Network made the remarks during a virtual press briefing on Thursday.
Considering Covid-19 situation, they made some proposals and observations so that the Education Ministry and the University Grant Commission (UGC) can form unified guidelines so that there is no discrimination in education and participation of all is ensured.
They said the teaching and research activities of the public universities have been closed for the past three and a half months from mid-March this year due to coronavirus and lack of proper management and directions on conducting online classes.
However, UGC did perform a survey for online classes in April, but no specific plan or comprehensive instructions were issued to fully open the universities, they added.
They claimed that launching special online education activities as an emergency measure is a key factor to overcome the risk of session jams and other problems but universities are not benefiting from this approach due to unplanned, unprepared, and discriminatory administrative decisions and pressure.
They suggested that the university apex body must acknowledge the difficulties faced by the universities, students, as well as teachers and provide the prerequisite tools necessary for online classes in the current context.
In the briefing, Prof Anu Muhammad said: “If students can’t attend online classes due to lack of food, healthcare, employment, and shelter, then the current inequality in education will increase.
“But the government will have to take steps to reduce this discrimination.”
“Our education minister once told us that things might not improve until September. However, in the meantime, UGC has been putting pressure for online classes. Meanwhile, national university authorities have said that they are incapable of conducting virtual education, yet for some reason decided to issue the exam schedule. This proves the lack of planning and preparations,” he added.
He urged the government to establish a uniformed system that ensures access to education for all.
DU Prof Samina Lutfa and Rajshahi University faculty Bakhtiar Ahmed read out the written statement at the press conference.
Among others, Prof Kamrul Hasan Mamun, Kazi S Farid, Sharmi Hossain, Avinu Kibria Islam, Sittul Muna Hasan, Khadija Mitu, and Arifuzzaman Rajib were present at the event.