A group of Dhaka University students on Wednesday demanded ensuring residential facilities for them before hosting exams for final year and masters from December 26 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They put forth six demands from a human chain held at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture on the campus.
Their demands include reopening residential halls, taking review classes of every course for those who couldn’t join online classes, and ensuring transportation facilities for non-residential students.
They also demanded not to take two semester final exams at the same time and giving students enough time to prepare for exams.
Mehedi Hasan, a final-year student of Islamic studies, said, “Where are we going to stay in Dhaka if the halls remain shut? We came from low- and middle-income families and can’t afford to stay in hotels during exams.”
“The risk of a second Covid wave is looming. Many of us can’t afford to pay the security deposit that most landlords demand,” he said.
Atik Morshed, another student from international business department termed the university’s decision to take exams without ensuring residential facilities ‘illogical’.
He said, “It’s a matter of shame that our vice-chancellor says he doesn’t know where students will stay. It’s the university’s responsibility to ensure residential facilities for its students.”
The students threatened to intensify their protest if the university authorities fail to manage accommodation facilities.
Moreover, some leader, activists of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Parishad held a separate protest at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture to press for four demands including reopening dorms maintaining following health guidelines, ensuring security for examinees and setting up a separate corona unit at Dhaka University medical centre for the students.
Bin Yamin Molla, one of the key leaders of the organisation, also demanded to ensure digital devices and data pack for students who cannot join online classes and take part in academic activities.
Moreover, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal also gave a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman to press for similar demands.