Students of seven colleges affiliated with Dhaka University yesterday lifted their road blockade at Nilkhet, after issuing a 24-hour ultimatum to the university authorities. The blockade was held earlier in the day to press home their five-point demand, including explanation of mass failures in examinations and re-evaluation of answer scripts.
The agitating students said they would go for continuous demonstration from today if the authorities do not make any announcement on fulfilling their demands.
“We would block the road from 10am to 2pm on a regular basis until the authorities assure us to meet all the demands,” Abu Bokor, a student of Dhaka College, said at a press conference following the blockade.
They declared that today’s blockade will start an hour later -- at 11am -- considering today’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination.
Around 3,000 students took to the streets at 10am and formed a human chain at Nilkhet intersection initially.
They later blocked the intersection till 2:30pm, halting traffic movement and causing severe traffic congestion in the area.
Many were stuck in long tailbacks on adjacent roads. People were seen walking to their destinations.
Afsar Munna, a resident student of Dhaka University, said, “I left Sir F Rahman Hall for Asad Gate around 11am, but could not reach even after two hours as my bus was stuck.”
The students obstructed every vehicle from crossing the intersection till noon. Some of them even sat in the middle of the road and chanted slogans.
Talking to The Daily Star, Shaheen Hossain, a student of Dhaka College, alleged that the activities of seven colleges have remained halted for around nine months after they were affiliated with Dhaka University.
“Following human chains, hunger strike and other protests, the academic activities started slowly. But even after two and a half months, students are being deprived of basic institutional facilities,” said Abu Bokor.
About evaluation of answer scripts, he claimed several errors were found, which were caused by poor evaluation.
“Only three students of 2015-2016 session of Dhaka College’s Bangla department passed the exam out of 216. One obtained CGPA 4.17 out of 4 and another was shown failing in two subjects although he sat for a retake exam of one course. That’s why we are demanding re-evaluation of the answer scripts,” he added.
Their other demands include publishing results within 90 days, separate administrative building for seven colleges, at least 14 monthly classes by DU teachers, introducing separate academic calendar and crash programmes to curb session jam.