Insolvent students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) are going to get smartphones to attend the online classes during this coronavirus crisis.
Some 30 percent students of the university, mostly living in rural areas, couldn’t attend the virtual classes. Thanks to the financial hardship since they can’t afford a smartphone in addition to slow internet speed and high price of mobile data packages.
SUST authorities have already initiated the process to avail smartphones for these students following a directive from the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The move was taken to ensure 100 percent attendance in online classes, according to the SUST officials.
On August 9, the university regulatory body wrote to vice-chancellors (VCs) of 45 public universities asking them to prepare lists of students who need financial assistance to buy smartphones to attend online classes.
SUST VC Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed told the Bangladesh Post, “Our teachers are preparing the list of students who are unable to buy a smartphone.
“We will send it soon,” he said after referring to the UGC’s letter.
Asked on processing the list, the VC said, a male and a female teachers have been tasked with preparing the list at each department.
“The teachers will talk to the respective students with class representatives from honours first year to masters programme helping them on it,” he added.
Prof Farid, however, said it is yet to decide whether students would get smartphones at a free of cost or not.
“The UGC will sit with the education ministry to decide whether the students will be provided with smartphone for free or not since other ministries are involved with the matter,” he added.
SUST became the first public university to start online classes on April 4 within a month the first confirmed cases of coronavirus was reported in the country on March 8.