UGC allows varsities to hold in-person exams

Staff Correspondent

29 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

After more than a year of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has allowed all the universities to hold honours and master’s final exams either in person or online.

The UGC sent a letter to all the universities on Friday asking them to take necessary steps to hold online or in-person exams following the approval from the respective academic councils.

The universities have also been asked to follow guidelines issued by the UGC on December 22 last. The notice has asked them to prioritise students studying in the final semester. All dormitories must remain closed.

In the letter, the UGC said considering the existing Covid-19 situation, it is important to continue the educational activities of the country’s universities.

Therefore, it is requested to take necessary steps to take examinations of the undergraduate and postgraduate students directly and virtually, it said.

Following the decision, the universities can now hold in-person examinations following the health guidelines to avoid session jam.

On May 6 last, the UGC at a meeting approved guidelines allowing the public universities to hold exams online, keeping in mind that it would benefit students and also reduce session jam. Public universities have been holding online classes as they could not take in-person classes since March 17 last year when the government closed all educational institutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The closure has been extended until June 12 this year in phases.

The government in March announced that the universities would be allowed to reopen on May 24. The universities were told at that time that they would continue online classes until then but cannot hold exams.

A 2nd wave of coronavirus, however, put on hold the plan to resume in-person classes and exams.

The grim reality has thrown into uncertainty the future of hundreds of thousands of students of 49 public universities who could not sit for final exams of two semesters due to the closure of the universities.

Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni on Wednesday said all secondary and higher secondary schools will reopen on June 13 if the Covid-19 situation does not deteriorate further.

But the ministry has not yet decided about the reopening of universities as the government has a plan to vaccinate students from all residential public universities in the country.

There are 49 public and 107 private universities in the country.