The business studies teachers are lobbying hard for continuation of the evening courses as the Dhaka University authorities are likely to decide tomorrow whether to stop enrolment of students in those courses.
Business faculty teachers held several meetings last week, calling for unity to raise voice against any possible move to shut down the evening courses. The members of DU academic council will meet tomorrow to decide the fate of these courses.
DU authorities in February last year formed a committee to evaluate the "legitimacy" of the evening courses. The committee earlier this month recommended that the departments stop enrolling students under these courses until a guideline is formulated.
Both pro-Awami League and pro-BNP teachers of the business faculty held separate meetings last week, where they opined that these courses should continue, and called for a joint meeting today.
Of the five deans, who were members of the evaluation committee, all but business faculty dean Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam recommended stopping the enrolment of students in the evening courses.
Several teachers told The Daily Star that most of the business faculty members earned a lot by taking classes in the evenings.
"The Faculty of Business Studies offers the highest number of evening courses. That's why they want the courses to continue," the dean of a faculty told The Daily Star, requesting anonymity.
The Faculty of Business Studies now has 45 batches of students, while the arts, science, social science, earth and environmental sciences, and engineering and technology faculties have only 6, 3, 18, 4, and 1 batches respectively.
The business faculty earned about Tk 63 crore from the evening courses last year, according to DU officials.
The business faculty's evening students are about twice as many as their regular ones, according to the the evaluation committee report on February 8.
Last year, 1,250 students got admitted to the nine departments of the faculty. The departments enrolled 2,530 students in the evening courses, the report added.
The committee observed that some new teachers of certain departments enjoyed better privileges than professors of departments that do not offer evening courses.
"There are also allegations of nepotism in selecting coordinators and teachers for the courses, hampering the regular academic activities," read the report.
Besides, the university authorities have no control over formulation of question papers, examinations, and evaluation of the answer scripts of the evening courses, it said.
The DU academic council in 2001 approved the business faculty to run five batches, which means that the 40 other batches that have been enrolled do not have the university's approval, it said.
Of the 35 departments and institutes offering evening courses, the committee proposed shutting down evening programmes offered by two departments and recommended that the fate of courses offered by 13 others should be evaluated. The teachers' capability at the 13 departments should be evaluated as well, it said.
The committee said evening students of Islamic studies, international relations and development studies could receive trainings at different organisations and didn't need to attend courses at the DU.
Talking to The Daily Star, Prof Shibli said they were offering the courses considering the demand of professionals.
The courses should not stop before the guidelines are formulated, he said.
Meanwhile, the business faculty's pro-BNP teachers led by Prof Shahidul Islam held a meeting on February 17 and pro-AL teachers led by Prof Muhammad Abdul Moyeen held another meeting the next day. The Pro-AL teachers held yet another meeting on February 20.
A pro-AL teacher present at the meetings said most of his colleagues wanted continuation of the courses and a few said a guideline was needed.
Prof Moyeen called another meeting at the business faculty auditorium for today to "finalise the course of action on evening courses" and asked all the "stakeholders" to join.
DU business faculty introduced the first-ever evening course in 2001. DU now offers dozens of evening postgraduate, certificate, diploma and other professional courses.