The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday unveiled a guideline with a view to making up losses of public university students across the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The six-point guideline has suggested reducing the academic year and cancelling different leaves and holidays to make up the losses, UGC sources said.The guideline, signed by UGC Secretary (additional responsibilities) Ferdous Zaman, was sent to the vice-chancellors and registrars of all public universities on Tuesday.
According to the guideline, the duration of the existing academic year of the universities should be acceptably reduced due to the pandemic.
It said various holidays, including summer vacation, winter vacation, and festival vacation, may be reduced or cancelled to complete the final examinations, classes, assignments, and quizzes of all subjects, including practical subjects, in semester, term and annual system.
The duration of each class -- theoretical and practical -- will remain the same like the previous time and the duration of lecture cannot be reduced. However, if there is need to reduce the lectures, then the entire syllabus must be completed within the lectures.
The UGC guideline also said in the interest of reducing the time in the academic calendar, issues like class test, quiz, midterm exam, assignment, and term paper can be reconsidered.
In case of the final examination, preparation leave, the leave between the examinations, and inter semester/term/year break can be reduced.The UGC also said after accepting the recovery plan and approving it by the Academic Council, students should be informed at the beginning of the academic year. The plan should be published on the university website and all necessary steps should be taken to implement the prepared academic calendar. The UGC took such a step when most public universities are 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 pandemic. The closure has been extended till June 30 this year in phases.
The UGC has allowed all universities to take in-person examinations for undergraduate and master’s degrees following health guideline in May this year.
Earlier, several decisions were taken from a virtual meeting held on May 31 with Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni in the chair where UGC Chairman Prof Dr Kazi Shahidullah and vice-chancellors of all public universities participated.
As per decision of the meeting, the UGC made the general guideline to make up the losses of the public university students while every university will also formulate recovery guidelines based on the UGC guideline as per their capacity and current situation.
According to UGC, there are 49 public universities in the country. About 3 lakh students are studying at these universities excluding National University, Islamic University and Bangladesh Open University.