Thousands of students of Rajshahi University (RU), who were expecting to sit for their final examinations on university campus, are in uncertainty due to the lockdown imposed in Rajshahi.
RU authorities in a virtual meeting on June 3 decided to allow departments to start exams of 2019 from June 20 and of 2020 from July 4 in person. It also decided to keep RU’s residential halls closed.
Upon receiving permission, around 10 departments started taking measures. Students also started heading for Rajshahi.
But on June 10, the Rajshahi administration decided to impose a complete lockdown from June 11 to midnight of June 17, as Covid-19 was spreading rapidly in different areas.
After the lockdown was imposed, RU authorities immediately issued a notice to close university offices till June 17.
This set of decisions caused confusion among students and teachers.
Sanchita Akter, a student of history department, expressed her frustration in a Facebook post and said, “We’ve already come to Rajshahi, after hearing the exam dates. But it seems like authorities will reschedule. What can we do now?”
A student of finance department said, “We were eagerly waiting to sit for exams. We had even started preparing, after authorities announced the dates. But as the situation worsened, we won’t be able to visit Rajshahi.”
This correspondent talked to seven department heads, who were preparing to take exams between June 20-25. Some of them said they have already postponed the exams, while others said they did not take any decision yet but have been observing the situation closely.
Prof Zahid Hossain, chairperson of finance department, said, “We have postponed the exams for an indefinite period.”
“Earlier, we alerted our students not to come to Rajshahi. Because their safety is our first priority during this situation,” he said.
Prof Hashibul Alam Prodhan, chairperson of law department, said, “We have scheduled an exam on June 22. We did not postpone it yet but have been observing the situation. If the authority extends the lockdown, we will have to reschedule.”
Prof Hasan Ahmad, chairperson of chemistry department, said, “We did not take any decision yet, but we will follow the university authority’s decision. If they reopen offices after June 17, we will start exams from June 20. We have instructed our students about the situation,” he added.
Talking to The Daily Star, RU Vice Chancellor (acting) Prof Ananda Kumar Saha said, “We had only issued ‘permission’ to take examinations. The department or institute authorities should follow the pandemic situation, and will decide or reschedule dates to take due exams. But we instructed them to give priority to students’ safety.”