UGC has decided to give free Internet packages to students during the pandemic so that the universities could ensure the online attendance of all students
The University Grant Commission (UGC) has asked the public universities of the country to submit their “tentative financial requirements” within two weeks to cater to the financial crisis of the universities so that the authorities could ensure free Internet facility to the students and conduct online classes during the ongoing pandemic.
The university apex body took the decision in a virtual meeting chaired by UGC Chairman Prof Kazi Shahidullah with Vice-Chancellors (VC) of 46 public universities, National University and Open University on Thursday.
At the meeting, UGC also decided to give free Internet packages to students during the pandemic so that the universities could ensure the online attendance of all students.
The commission also asked each public university to run online classes according to its capabilities. Exams and practical classes will be taken later as physical appearance is mandatory for these activities.
The university apex body also advised the university authorities to motivate the students who are not yet participating in online classes.
UGC Secretary Dr Ferdous Zaman said: “All VCs have given their opinion on how to conduct the online classes and discussed various problems and financial requirements in the meeting.”
He said UGC asked the VCs of public universities to send “tentative financial requirements” within two weeks.
Later, UGC will send the requirements to the government and the Ministry of Education, added the UGC secretary.
The universities will receive allocation from the government and if required, the government will meet the financial requirements from the donor agencies including Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, etc, Dr Zaman said.
He added: “40% of colleges under National University do not have internet facilities. So how can they arrange online classes? It is mandatory to arrange internet facilities at these institutions.”
Everyone at the meeting agreed that laptops or computers are needed to ensure proper class, added the UGC secretary.
At the meeting, all the VCs said that about 30-40% of the students are absent in online classes. The VCs also highlighted various issues such as teachers’ inexperience in conducting online classes.
UGC member Prof Muhammed Alamgir said the internet packages should be given for free to the students. UGC will do its utmost to ensure that the internet packages are provided free of cost.
In addition, students who are not participating in online classes, need to be provided with the necessary software support to assist them, Prof Alamgir said.
All the UGC members were present at the meeting.
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