Exams to go ahead at 7 DU-affiliated colleges as authorities retract suspension

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-02-24 17:37:19 BdST

The authorities have rowed back on the decision to suspend the ongoing examinations of the seven Dhaka University-affiliated colleges in the face of student protests.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting attended by the education minister, deputy education minister and other officials on Wednesday, said MA Khair, the spokesman for the ministry.

ASM Maksud Kamal, chief coordinator of the seven government colleges and pro vice-chancellor (education) of Dhaka University, said, “The ongoing examinations of the seven colleges will continue. The new dates for the exams previously scheduled for Feb 23 and 24 will be announced later.”

It came after students of the seven colleges poured onto the Nilkhet intersection for a second day to protest against the postponement of their ongoing examinations and to demand the authorities reopen the halls of residence.

In a video message after Wednesday’s meeting, Education Minister Dipu Moni said the college hostels must remain closed during the exams before the reopening in May. All must adhere to the coronavirus health rules as well.  

All educational institutions, including universities, in the country have been closed since March last year following the outbreak of the coronavirus. The universities began taking online classes but students facing accommodation problems demanded that the residential halls reopen.

A group of students wearing shrouds demonstrated blocking the streets at Nilkhet intersection on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 against a decision to suspend exams of the seven Dhaka University-affiliated colleges. They also demanded reopening of the campuses and halls of residence. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

On Feb 22, Dipu Moni announced that classes in public and private universities would restart from May 24 and the government would help them reopen.

However, no university would be allowed to take any exams before May 24. The online lessons would continue until that time while the residential halls would open on May 17, she said.

Following the announcement, Dhaka University abandoned the plan to reopen the halls of residence on Mar 13 to its honours and master’s students while suspending the ongoing examinations.

The authorities also suspended the exams at the seven colleges, which have been ongoing since January in phases, considering that they will be reopening in May.

The decision led to protests by the disgruntled students who blocked the Nilkhet intersection Tuesday night. They resumed the protests on Wednesday bringing traffic on Mirpur Road and other key roads to a halt.

The protesters said they had only a few exams left to finish their courses when the institutions were shut down last year.

Suspending the exams midway again will add to their sufferings because many have come from outside the capital and rented mess rooms for the tests.  

The traffic situation became normal in the afternoon when the students left the streets cheering up for the decisions to continue the exams.   

The seven Dhaka University affiliate colleges are Dhaka College, Eden College, Shaheed Suhrawardy College, Kabi Nazrul College, Begum Badrunessa Govt Women's College, Mirpur Bangla College and Titumir College. These were affiliated with the university on Feb 16, 2017 in a bid to reduce the pressure on the national university and increase the quality of education.