A Dhaka University committee, formed to evaluate the legitimacy of evening programmes at the university, has recommended that the departments temporarily stop enrolling students under these programmes.
The committee, comprising the deans of five faculties, made the recommendation in their report that was submitted to the university's vice-chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman last Sunday.
"We were asked to formulate a policy and give our opinion about the courses. We outlined a draft policy and recommended that the departments postpone enrolling new students under evening programmes until the policy is formulated," a member of the committee told The Daily Star.
He said that currently there was no central policy at the university for conducting evening courses.
Among the five deans, all but Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam, dean of the business studies faculty, gave their opinion for halting the enrolment of new students under evening programmes, two deans told this newspaper wishing anonymity.
Prof Shibli could not be reached on his mobile phone for comments despite several attempts.
The university authorities formed the committee on May 2019. Science faculty Dean Tofail Ahmed Chowdhury was the convener of the committee.
Three other members of the committee are arts faculty Dean Prof Abu Md Delwar Hossain, social science faculty Dean Prof Sadeka Halim and engineering and technology faculty Dean Prof Md Hasanuzzaman.
The 20-page report highlights the present scenario of the university's evening courses and made some recommendations in light of that.
A draft of guideline for running the evening courses was also attached to the report.
According to the report, about 7,000 students are currently being enrolled in the evening courses under 36 departments of the university.
Evening courses are being operated in some departments despite teacher shortage while some departments are offering courses that are not related to their fields of study, the report reads.
Contacted, DU VC Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman said he was yet to see the report and would send the report to the Deans' committee meeting for discussion.
Dhaka University's business studies faculty introduced the first-ever evening course in 2001 "for developing skills of professionals", which later witnessed exponential growth over the past 19 years.
DU now offers dozens of evening postgraduate, certificate, diploma and other professional courses.
Currently, as many as 36 departments and institutions of the university are running such evening courses, while more are in the offing.
On December 11 last year, the University Grants Commission issued directives to all the public universities saying they should stop conducting evening courses as such courses harm the image and characteristics of the universities.