Joyous reunion at DU after 18 months
The Dhaka University campus was abuzz with students as face-to-face teaching resumed yesterday after 18 months of closure due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The institution that remained empty for a year and half now had students rushing to classrooms, libraries, seminars and cafeterias. Classmates were seen catching up after being separated for long.
Madhur's canteen was full of student activists, some of whom brought a procession and paraded the campus.
Upon entering, students had to wear their masks and show proof of at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The attendance rate in some departments was 80 to 90 percent, teachers said.
"We were eagerly waiting for this day. We were bored at home for so long. We missed the campus and our friends," said Thofael Ahmed Tarun, a third-year student of the philosophy department.
Students began entering the premises since 8:00am, while university staffers and teachers were stationed at the gate to check temperatures, distribute masks and help sanitise the hands of everyone who entered.
Authorities divided each class into two or groups to maintain physical distancing inside the classroom, teachers and students said.
"In-person classes and exams have resumed and all the students are complying with the health safety guidelines," said Prof Abu Md Delwar Hossain, dean of the arts faculty.
AKM Haroonar Rashid, chairman of the university's philosophy department, said about 90 percent of his students attended class.
Jatiyotabadi Chhatra Dal leaders, after a rally at Shoparjito Shadhinota Chattar, said that they would remain beside the general students' rights. Chhatra League (JASAD) also brought out a procession, protesting the recent communal attacks across the country.
DU Vice-Chancellor M Akhtaruzzaman said, "It is positive that all students are vaccinated and are happy to return to classes."
He expressed satisfaction as students maintained proper health safety guidelines.
The VC also said the university has planned a a series of steps to help students recover from academic losses education losses of students.
The DU academic council in a meeting a few months ago had decided to shorten the semester and academic year, reduce vacations and take others such steps to cover up for the loss.
RU HALLS REOPEN
Meanwhile, students of Rajshahi University started moving into their residential halls, or student dormitories, yesterday morning, reported our university correspondent.
After the gates opened around 10:30am, students, who had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, moved into their respective halls after showing their vaccination certificates and hall IDs.
Hundreds of students belonging to different halls waited in line at the gate and were greeted with flowers and sweets by the provost and residential teachers.
"It [the hall] is like our second home... Returning to the campus and having fun with friends after so long is overwhelming," said Bablu Hasan, a resident of Shaheed Habibur Rahman Hall.