DU students charged dorm, transport fees despite closure
Though they didn't use dormitory and transport facilities for around a year and half, Dhaka University students will have to pay for those.
Many students, much to their frustration, claimed this was an extra burden for them.
DU authorities, however, said though the university remained shut down, its transport and hall services are continuing on a limited scale and they are charging fees.
Considering the pandemic, the authorities have decided to waive the "admission delay fee" this time. Earlier, they slashed the departmental development fee by 50 percent for the 2019-20 academic year.
According to the decision made at its Academic Council Meeting on June 1, DU will conduct the final exams of different departments and institutes, which were delayed by 15 months. Before sitting for the exams, students must fill up forms (regarding the previous year's fees). The submission of the forms will begin online tomorrow.
Seeking anonymity, a residential student of Bijoy Ekattor Hall said, "We are not allowed admission until we renew our hall cards. And if we want to renew the card, those who are non-residential must pay Tk 1,000 and those who are residential have to pay Tk 1,700.
"Why should we pay this money as all of us are having to live outside the halls for the past year and half?"
He also said they didn't use the university's transport facilities. "Then why pay Tk 1,080 for this purpose?"
Students, former leaders of Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU), and other student organisation leaders strongly criticised the authorities' decision and urged them to take a student-friendly decision.
Many are making posts on social media, protesting the decision of charging transport and residential fees.
Slamming the decision, former DUCSU vice president Nurul Haque Nur, told The Daily Star, "Amid the pandemic situation, DU authorities should have been on the students' side. But they didn't do that. Their decision is totally illogical and unethical."
"We will talk with authorities in this regard immediately," said Saddam Hussain, general secretary of DU Chhatra League.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Foez Ullah, president of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, said, "From the beginning, we have been urging authorities of all educational institutions to waive the tuition fee due to the Covid-19 situation. But the DU authorities are taking extra fees, including transport, residential, library and other fees. The decision to do so is in conflict with the values of the university."
According to the university transport office sources, the university was in an agreement with BRTC, where it would charge according to the trips made. If there is no trip, there is no money charged. With the current pandemic situation, there has been no trips.
DU Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman said, "Establishment services fees will not be reduced, as these services are continuing on a limited scale for the university's employees. However, students are not using these facilities as the university has been closed due to the pandemic situation."