6 years without classrooms, teachers or labs
Academic works of the mechanical engineering department at Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) in Dinajpur are being hampered due to the absence of permanent classrooms and laboratory facilities.
The department, which currently has 250 students, has a dearth of teachers as well.
According to students and officials of the university, the authorities opened the department in 2016. However, the department did not have a permanent classroom and lab facilities from the very beginning.
Demanding a permanent classroom and lab facilities for the department, the students have been agitating since October 24 on campus. However, they are yet to get any assurance from the authorities.
The class of 2016 has graduated from the department amid all such inconveniences, while the class of 2017 expects to do the same.
Students of the 2018 and 2019 batches told this correspondent that their classes are held in a room at the academic building, which often remained occupied by students of other departments.
"It's hard to maintain the class schedule. We need to wait for hours to avail of the classrooms," said a student, wishing anonymity.
Most students said their classes are only held if a room is found empty at the building. However, if a classroom was found empty on the fifth floor, teachers are often reluctant to go there due to their physical condition.
Students also reported that they have had no practical classes due to the shortage of room and equipment, despite being an engineering department.
"I would not get admitted here if I knew of such a condition," said another student.
However, the suffering of the students does not end here.
The department needs at least 15 teachers but has only seven. Of them, two teachers are on study leave abroad for their PhD degrees.
The situation was worse a couple of years ago when the department had only 2 teachers for teaching 250 students of 5 batches.
"Students of a university cannot continue their studies in this way. We want a solution to the problem. We urge the authorities to take initiative to provide us with lab facilities at other nearest universities," many of them told this correspondent.
However, they also reported that teachers of the department have not agreed to their proposals.
"We proposed the authorities locate a room at the newly constructed 10-storey building at the campus. But we are yet to get any reassurance over the matter," said the students.
Contacted, HSTU Proctor Prof Harunur Rashid said this department was opened in 2016 and the HSTU vice chancellor is cordial enough to solve the issues raised by students.
"We will soon provide them with classroom and lab facilities. Some apparatus have been purchased and others will be bought soon," he added.
Vice Chancellor Prof M Kamruzzaman said the problem remained unsolved for various reasons.
"I took the initiative to solve the issues when I came to know of it after taking charge of office. We are serious about solving them immediately," he added.