Reopening delayed by renovations to dormitories, says the education minister
All universities across the country will be able to resume academic activities by the end of October, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has said.
She made the remark during the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told reporters at the secretariat.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked about the delay in reopening universities, as schools and colleges reopened on September 12. The education minister said the delay was caused by the renovation of dormitories,” the cabinet secretary said.
Earlier on Friday, the Dhaka University authorities announced that renovations and repairs of student dormitories had been completed.
Following a meeting with the University Grants Commission (UGC), the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 and the vice-chancellors (VCs) of the public universities on September 14, Dipu Moni had said that public universities would reopen any day after September 27 if all the students could complete registration for the Covid-19 vaccine by that time.
The VCs of a number of universities told the meeting that around 50% of students had already taken their first dose of the vaccine by then.
The vaccination of students at the DU Martyred Intellectual Dr Muhammad Murtaza Medical Centre began on Monday.
On March 16 last year, the government ordered all educational institutions closed to curb Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Since then, the closure has been extended several times. Previous attempts to reopen on March 13 and May 17 ran into impediments caused by a persistent Covid-19 pandemic.
The government started vaccinating students a couple of months ago through the university databases and gradually brought down the cut-off age for Covid-19 vaccination to 18 years.
Also, with the recent downtrend in the infection rate, the universities are gradually getting back to regular academic activities after 18 months of closure.
Dhaka University held the admission tests for the 2020-21 academic session last week while Rajshahi University is scheduled to hold the admission tests from Monday.