Colleges Under NU: Students protest exam deferral | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 26, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:57 AM, February 26, 2021

Colleges Under NU: Students protest exam deferral

7 hurt as police charge baton in Netrakona; 18 detained in capital

Students across the country took to the streets and demanded the continuation of ongoing and previously announced exams as they were protesting the authority's decision to postone ongoing exams.

When they were staging a demonstration demanding the continuation of National University (NU) exams, police swooped on them. At least seven students were injured.

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After postponing all exams on Monday, the NU authorities yesterday said in a statement the postponed examinations of all courses, including the second-year degree exams and certificate courses of 2019 and the final year master's exam of 2018, will begin from May 24.

Besides, the first-year admission test process (2020-2021) will begin on June 8, 2021. The NU authorities have called upon students to prepare accordingly.

Meanwhile, police also charged batons on students of Home Economics College, which is under Dhaka University, as they were staging a demonstration in front of the college demanding continuation of exams, students alleged.

Meanwhile, police detained at least 18 students of different colleges under the NU for several hours when they went to Shahbagh to stage protests over the postponement of exams.

Besides, students of Chittagong University, Rajshahi University, and various colleges in Sylhet, Chandpur and Netrakona, held demonstrations with the same demands.

Protesting students said their educational institutions have been closed since March 17 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to which they lost academic time. Some universities, including NU, had started to hold final exams.

Shahbagh police detained at least 18 of the NU students, who were gathering in the area to stage a protest against exam postponement, said Mohammad Al Amin, a protest organiser and student of Siddweshari College.

He said that they were released after several hours.

"We are giving authorities time till Sunday to cancel their decision of postponing all exams. Otherwise, we will hold sterner programmes," he warned.

Students of different colleges of Netrakona gathered in front of the district Press Club at noon. When they were marching toward the DC office, police charged batons on them, said Fahim Khan, a demonstrator.

Akbar Ali Munsi, Netrokona's superintendent of police, said that two police officials were withdrawn to the SP office and they are inquiring into the incident.

In Sylhet, Students from MC College, Sylhet Govt College, Madan Mohon College and several other colleges formed a human chain under the banner of General Students in front of Sylhet Central Shaheed Minar at Chowhatta point.

"Male police officials charged batons on us around 11:30am, women officials tried to drag us inside the campus," said Ayesha Siddika, one of the protesters of Home Economics College, adding, "We will continue our movement until our demands are met."

The protest started around 7:00am at Nilkhet intersection. The students later moved in front of their college and were continuing the protest until this report was filed at 2:45pm.

Sanowar Hosen, assistant police commissioner of Lalbagh Zone, said that they tried to disperse the protesters with permission from the college authority.

"However, batons were not charged on them," he said.

Students of Rajshahi University started demonstrations at Paris Road of the university around 11:00am and postponed it at 1:00pm until next Sunday, upon assurance from the authorities, reported our RU correspondent.

Tomalika Haque, a student of Geology and Mining department, said, "The university authorities postponed our exams as per the instruction of the Education Ministry. We want the examinations to continue even if our dormitories aren't reopened. Seven colleges affiliated with Dhaka University have been successful in realising their demand. It's possible to take examinations on our campus as well."

RU proctor Prof Lutfor Rahman said he will request the vice chancellor of the University to restart the examinations.

Students of Chittagong University held a rally in front of the university's Shaheed Minar.

Prattoy Nafak, a student, said that they also demanded the introduction of bus service between the campus and Chattogram city and submitted a memorandum to the vice chancellor in this regard.

CU proctor Robiul Islam said that university authorities will hold a meeting on the issue on Sunday and take a decision.

Barisal University students blocked the Barishal-Kuakata highway when protesting the continuation of all examinations that started in January last.

Khorshed Alam, general secretary of BU Teachers' Association, said, "We'll contact the higher authorities over resuming the examinations as the students are demanding it."

Chandpur district Chhatra Adhikar Parishad also held a human chain in front of Chandpur Government College with similar demands.

Students of different universities have been demonstrating in and outside their campuses since Saturday with different demands, including reopening of their educational institutions and halls.

Against the backdrop of protests at Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, Rajshahi University and others, the government on Monday announced that all universities would reopen on May 24 after the Eid-ul-Fitr.

No examinations will be held before reopening of the universities, but online classes will continue, Education Minister Dipu Moni announced.

The NU cancelled all their exams on Monday until further notice. Dhaka University took the same step the next day.

Frustrated by the decision, a group of students of DU's seven affiliated colleges blocked Nilkhet intersection and some other roads near the DU campus on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

DU authorities on Wednesday decided to hold all ongoing and previously announced exams of its seven affiliated colleges in the wake of student protests.


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