DU halls reopen after 18 months

October 6, 2021

The Dhaka University authority on Tuesday reopened its halls for the regular honours final year and master’s students after 18 months of closure due to the Covid outbreak.
Halls for students of all other academic years are scheduled to be reopened on October 10 after a decision taken at a meeting of the Provost Standing Committee of the university held on Tuesday.
At the meeting, the committee also recommended resuming in-person classes from October 16 which now awaits approval from the Academic Council.
The date of the meeting of the council is yet to be fixed.
Currently both public and private universities are making preparations to resume in-person classes and reopen the residential halls.
Most of the public universities are making preparations to resume in-person classes by October.
All educational institutions have remained closed since March 18, 2020 following the detection of Covid cases in the country on March 8 of the same year.
The authorities reopened and resumed in-person classes in all types of educational institutions — from primary to higher secondary levels — on September 12.
Later on September 14, at a meeting, a decision was taken to resume in-person classes and reopen the residential halls after September 27 following registering for Covid vaccination by students, teachers and staff of all public and private universities as well as the institutions under the National University.
New Age correspondent in Dhaka University reported that on Tuesday morning, many students were waiting in front of their hall gate. Students entered the halls in a festive mood as soon as the doors were opened.
Since 8:00am, students entered their respective halls after showing their vaccination cards and valid university identity cards.
‘It gives us great pleasure to at last see the hall open today. Almost two years have elapsed and today it feels a lot like Eid,’ said Mohiminul Khan, a residential student of Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall.
‘We welcome the decision to reopen halls but it will be a judicious decision if the authorities consider allowing students who were vaccinated,’ said Sathi Biswas, a residential student of Rokeya Hall.
Most of the residential halls have already installed handwashing facilities at the entrances and restoration and renovation works have also been completed before welcoming the students.
According to hall authorities, dining rooms, canteens, reading rooms and restrooms have already been cleaned in all the dormitories.
Meanwhile, DU authorities are preparing to open the halls for the students of other semesters and years as soon as possible.
According to a decision taken by the authorities, only regular students will be able to reside in the halls after getting at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the university authorities, out of the total 38,000 students, till now 61 per cent or 23,000 took vaccines and 5,600 are waiting to be vaccinated after registration.
Provost Standing Committee convener and also provost of Bijay Ekattar hall Professor Abdul Basir said, ‘Our students are cooperative and they came back to reoccupy their seats in the hall following proper guidelines set by the hall authority.’
‘We welcomed our hall students with flower garlands, masks and chocolates,’ he added.
However, sources revealed that honours 1st, 2nd, 3rd-year students also entered most of the male student halls.
The authorities, meanwhile, decided to abolish the so-called ‘gana rooms’ which is a controversial issue for both teachers and student organisations.
On the same morning, Dhaka University vice-chancellor Professor Md Akhtaruzzaman visited the Bijay Ekattar Hall and Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall of the university.
He said, ‘Gana room was there when I was a student. The gana room creates a situation for which students begin to lose the good values they have already acquired. If general students and members of student organisations cooperate, I think it will cease to exist,’ said DU VC after visiting Bijay Ekattar Hall on Tuesday
morning.
Earlier, defying the official decision to open the residential halls of Dhaka University on October 5, a huge number of male students forcibly entered most of the halls, excepting Bijay Ekattar Hall and Sir AF Rahman Hall, though the female student halls of the university still remained vacant.
Later on Saturday evening, the Provost Standing Committee in a meeting decided to serve a show cause notice to each student for entering the halls violating the university decision.
The same committee also decided to form a committee to identify the students who had entered the halls during the closure.
Meanwhile, the Islamic University in Kushtia reopened its central library on Tuesday as the university is set to reopen its residential halls for students on October 9 and resume in-person classes on October 20, New Age Islamic University correspondent reported.
The university syndicate took the decision in its 263rd meeting held at the vice-chancellor’s residence with vice-chancellor Professor Shaikh Abdus Salam in the chair, said officials.
On Monday night, IU information, publication and public relations office director M Ataul Haque said that the central library of the university would be kept open from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
The students must show their Covid vaccination certificate or any document of taking at least the first dose before moving back to the halls and attending classes, Ataul said.
The authorities have already made preparations for reopening the halls, the vice-chancellor said, adding that the students would not be allowed to stay at ‘gana room’ as it might cause a surge in Covid infections.
Pro-vice-chancellor Professor M Mahbubur Rahman, treasurer Professor M Alamgir Hossain Bhuiya and acting registrar M Ataur Rahman were present in the meeting, among others.
Earlier, a group of students demonstrated on the campus, demanding the reopening of the halls on September 30.
Patuakhali Science and Technology University resumed in-person classes and examinations and reopened halls in phases from September 30.
The university registrar professor Muhammad Kamrul Islam told New Age on Tuesday that in-person classes of most of the years, except that of the first year, would resume by October 18 as the students of first years stayed in groups in the hall rooms.
Earlier on September 24, Bangladesh Agricultural University reopened its halls for students of master’s and honours final year students and on September 27 the university authorities held in-person examinations for honours final year students.
‘We will take the decision about resuming in-person classes after observing the Covid situation,’ the university registrar Md Saiful Islam told New Age on Tuesday.
The authorities of Rajshahi University recently decided to open the university’s residential halls on October 17 while the in-person classes would resume on October 20, New Age Rajshahi correspondent reported.
New Age correspondent in Jahangirnagar University reported that the authorities decided to reopen all residential halls on October 11 and resume in-person classes from October 21 in phases.
The Chittagong University authorities decided to reopen all residential halls from October 18 in phases.
The authorities fixed the possible date for resumption of in-person classes in the university after October 20.
Recently the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh member professor Muhammed Alamgir told New Age that instructions were given and now the universities would be reopened based on the decisions of their own academic councils and syndicates.
The Association of Private University of Bangladesh president Sheikh Kabir Hossain told New Age recently that the private universities would resume in-person classes as and when the universities take decisions.
Currently, there are 50 public and 108 private universities in the country.

-With New Age input

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