Private universities that have completed 70 percent of academic activities for outgoing semester and have been conducting online classes successfully for theoretical courses will be able to evaluate their students through online viva exams, keeping the video open and through virtual presentations.
The University Grants Commission finalised a directive with an option saying that such universities can grade students taking the attendance, assignments, presentations, mid-term exam results into account held before online tests. They can also take results of previous semester into consideration while preparing results for outgoing session.
Universities can prepare the results only after confirming that at least 60 percent students are participating in the online classes.
"We have issued the directive on taking online classes, holding exams and admission tests against the backdrop of the Covid-19 situation," said UGC private university division director Fakhrul Islam.
All private universities have been closed since March 17 and the government has now extended the closure until May 16 to curb further spread of Covid-19.
On April 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said all educational institutions may stay closed until September if the situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak does not improve.
In its directive, UGC said that all private universities will be allowed to evaluate laboratory-based subjects only after reopening of the universities.
Private universities will be allowed to conduct admission tests in June and next semester will begin in July, said the UGC directive.
UGC issued the directive in line with decisions made at a meeting held among Education Minister Dipu Moni, UGC top officials, vice-chancellors of several public and private universities and leaders of Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) on the issue on April 30.
The meeting was held as UGC and APUB were at odds over awarding grades to students without holding semester finals, enrolling new students without admission tests, and holding tests online.
UGC on April 10, rejected an APUB request to postpone its decisions of not allowing grading students without holding semester finals, enrolling new students without admission tests, and holding tests online.
In a letter to UGC chairman, the APUB chairman on April 10 said they were requesting the commission to postpone its decisions until holding a discussion with their association.
The commission on April 6 asked private universities to stop assigning their current students grades through online exams and evaluation, and to stop enrolling new students without admission tests amid the closure of educational institutions to curb the coronavirus outbreak in the country.