The Dhaka University (DU) authorities are decentralising the entry tests for the 2020-21 academic year to curb the spread of coronavirus and slashing the total marks by half to 100.
Admissions tests used to take place in Dhaka in previous sessions but this time, the tests will be held across the divisions.
"We’ve decided not to hold online admission tests,” DU Pro-VC (academic) Prof ASM Maksud Kamal said. “We’ve initially decided to hold division-wise tests to ensure the safety of the students considering the Covid-19 pandemic."
"We’re willing to set up the centres and hold the tests after talks with the authorities of the universities in divisions across the country," he said.
A meeting of the Deans' Committee on Tuesday, presided over by Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, took these decisions rejecting online admission tests.
Sources at the meeting said that of the 100 marks, 20 will be reserved to evaluate each aspirant’s score on the basis of results of School Secondary Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC). Previously, 80 marks were allotted to evaluate SSC and HSC results.
Admission tests will be held on 80 marks. Deans' Committee members, declining to be named, said that 50 would likely be kept for the written test and 30 for MCQ. These were 45 and 75 in the last academic session respectively.
Prof Sadeka Halim, dean of the Social Science faculty, said that the distribution of newly set 80 marks has not been determined but they would prioritise more on the written part.
The minimum criteria for applying into different units (A/B/C/D) have also remained the same and the authorities will fix the dates after the result of HSC is published.
The HSC results are usually published in the first week of May. The universities hold entry tests from the second week of September till the end of November. But this year, HSC results will be published in December, while dates for admission tests of different public universities will be set later.
This year, all 1.3 million HSC examinees will pass. It will basically make all of them eligible to sit for university admission tests.
There are currently 60,000 available seats at 39 public universities in the country.
Khulna University authorities have issued show-cause notice to its four teachers seeking explanation over ’ instigating students during a movement’ in January.
The university administration has identified the involvement of the teachers in the movement of the students on January 1 and 2 this year.
They were given letters seeking explanation on October 17.
Besides, the accused teachers were asked to come up with reply within three working days.
The teachers did not respond within the stipulated time and appealed to the authorities to give them four more weeks.
The accused teachers are—Abul Fazal, assistant professor, Shakila Alam, lecturer of Bangla Deparment , Hoymonty Shukla Kabery, lecturer of History and Civilization Discipline and Ayesha Rahman Asha, lecturer of English.
The letters, signed by the acting registrar of the university Khan Golam Quddus, said that on January 2, some agitating students locked the administrative building of the university and besieged the vice-chancellor and other officials and employees.
Involvement of some teachers in the incident were detected, said the letters.
On October 15, 1985, the roof of Dhaka University's residential Jagannath Hall collapsed. The tragedy claimed the lives of as many as 40 people, including 26 students and 14 guests. Since then, October 15 is observed as a day of mourning for the university.
But some 35 years on, nothing much has changed when it comes to the safety of residential halls of Bangladesh's most prestigious university. At least eight such halls where thousands of students reside are in a ruinous condition. The walls have developed deep cracks and the plaster is flaking off.
Despite being dubbed unfit for human habitation by engineers, students claim the university authorities have virtually turned a blind eye to the vexing issue. The risky dormitories are Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall, Surja Sen Hall, Salimullah Muslim Hall, Jagannath Hall, Fazlul Haque Muslim Hall, Sgt Jahurul Haque Hall, Shahidullah Hall and Mohsin Hall.
Students allege that there have been several cases of plaster collapse at these halls in recent years, but the university authorities are just not bothered about their safety. They say the authorities just carry out temporary repair work, leaving the structures again in a vulnerable state.
Salimullah Muslim Hall, for instance, established in 1921, has become so dilapidated that students say the two-storey building could collapse like a pack of cards any moment. But the authorities, students say, are "unmoved".
Noyon Ahmed, a resident student of the hall, said, “We reside here taking our lives in our hands. Many of us have received minor injuries due to plaster collapses. We are left with no other option but to stay on as we cannot afford better places due to financial constraints."
Dhaka University's vice-chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman, however, said they have chalked out a masterplan to renovate the century-old university. "The plan includes repairing old dormitories and constructing new ones. It is true that a number of buildings are risky. But an initiative has been taken to repair the decades-old buildings."
The masterplan includes developing infrastructure and technological facilities, improving accommodation arrangements, setting up a world-class library, modernising the gymnasium and medical centre, and making the campus more green, UNB has learnt.
DU's acting chief engineer AKM Afzalul Haque also admitted that most of the dormitories are old, but said that the buildings would be repaired soon. "We will take all necessary measures to mitigate the risk of any untoward incident," he added.
Read Also: DU mourns Jagannath Hall tragedy
The Islamic University will celebrate the 56th birth anniversary of Sheikh Russel, the youngest son of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on its campus in Kushtia on Sunday.
IU Sheikh Russel Hall will organise the event by placing a floral wreath at Sheikh Russel’s mural in front of the hall in the morning.
Later, a cake-cutting ceremony and webinar will be held to mark the day.
Sheikh Russel Hal provost Professor Rabiul Islam said all preparations had been taken to celebrate the birth anniversary in a peaceful atmosphere maintaining social distance.
On August 15, 1975, Sheikh Russel was killed along with most of his family members, including Bangabandhu, when he was just a student of class four.