Sheikh Mehzabin Chitra, SUST Correspondent
A majority of students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) expressed satisfaction over the university authorities’ timely initiative to continue the academic activities and hold classes online during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m very happy as I’m attending the classes online and doing my assignments as well,” Anika Chowdhury Farah of Anthropology department of 25th batch told the Bangladesh Post.
Farah, however, said they are busy with their study at home but missed the campus. “We don’t not get the feelings of attending classes physically,” she added.
SUST was the first public university of the country to start online classes on April 4 within a month Bangladesh reported the first confirmed cases of coronavirus on March 8.
Another Anthropology student, FayeemSakil appreciated the university’s initiative on virtual classes.
“Online learning becomes more common since it is easy to adopt and study from anywhere.We don’t get bored to attend classes (online). We pass busy time with our academic activities all day long,” said Fayeem, who is an executive member of the Anthropology Society, SUST.
Students are also satisfied over the teachers as the latter are providing all-out support.
Samiha Ahmed Supti of Geography and Environmental department said their teachers are providing them with necessary study materials including soft copies of books and presentation files.
“I’m pleased with the university’s initiatives. But, sometimes I face internet disruption during the classes,” she lamented.
Contacted Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of SUST, said they opted for online classes and academic activities to keep the university free from session jam.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the academic activities of all educational institutions including SUST badly. Yet, our teachers are working hard and taking virtual classes regularly,” he added.
Not all students are happy
As many as 30 percent students, mostly living in rural areas, expressed frustration as they couldn’t attend the virtual classes due to slow internet connection and high price of mobile data packages.
Replying to a query, VC Farid Uddin said some 70 percent students attend online classes while the rest 30 percent fail to do so due to poor network coverage and other complexities.
“We have taken various measures so that the 30 percent students can attend classes online,” he added.
As part of the authorities’ initiatives, some 2,216 students of out 10922 have been provided with a 15 gigabytes (GB) data each to facilitate online classes during the pandemic.
Students are also getting recorded classes from their respective teachers.
Besides, the authorities are preparing the list of the students who can’t afford a smartphones and has decided to sanction loans to teachers to purchase computers for holding the virtual classes.
VC Farid Uddin, however, said they are preparing to hold second semester examinations on time amid the virus crisis.
“No one knows when the Covid-19 situation will improve. So, we can’t sit idle. Since we have been running our academic activities from April 4, we will continue it for the sake of our students,” he vowed.