Many public universities, including Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, have started online final examinations to do away with the session jam caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The public universities took the initiative after 15 months of closure of the universities because of the pandemic.
The University Grants Commission also issued a guideline on holding examinations online as the public universities have taken classes online only. And that is why the students are facing severe session jam.
On the other hand, the students of private universities are not facing any session jam as the universities have been allowed to take classes and hold examinations online since last year.
Professor Dr AKM Maksud Kamal, pro-vice-chancellor (Academic) of Dhaka University, told The Business Standard that the Academic Council had asked the department to take online examinations during the lockdown through consultations with students.
"We have taken the decision considering our students' academic life. The departments can take the exams face-to face if the virus situation improves," he said.
"All residential students will be vaccinated and we will reopen the halls after ensuring two doses for every student. We will take in-person exams by maintaining all health protocols," he added.
Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, told TBS that the university completed the honours and masters final examinations last month.
"First to third year final examinations have already started from July 1. In our physics exams 100 percent of students took part in the exams," he said.
"Students can take the exams without facing any hassles. We have even asked the students to pay the fees later. If any students want to pay the fees they can do it even from their homes through Bikash or Nagad and any other tools. Our priority is to hold the exams," he added.
Meanwhile, some universities are yet to take initiatives to hold online examinations.
Prof Abu Naser Md Wahid, a teacher at the Law Department of Rajshahi University, told TBS that his university has not had any Academic Committee meeting in this regard.
Dhaka University's directive about online exams
The Dhaka University administration has taken a decision to hold postponed examinations online instead of in-person.
The online examinations were scheduled to start from the first week of the current month.
The university has decided to take honours and masters final examinations online instead of in-person at first.
At the same time, the administration dispatched its academics council meeting decision to all departments.
UGC's directive for online exams
The UGC on May 6 issued a guideline for the public universities so that they can hold examinations through following world standard modules.
The guideline notes that the exam committee members of respective departments have to use Google Classroom to hold the exams, using institutional E-mail IDs.
Visually impaired students will get 10 extra minutes for the exams.
The students must use their roll numbers instead of their names on the Zoom platform.
They have to join at least 15 minutes before the exams.
Their device's video must be switched on and they must write on A4 size paper and mention their roll and page numbers on every page.
At the end of the exams, the students must scan or take photos of their answer sheets and upload it on the same "Assignment" section of Google Classroom.
An examinee can upload one file only.
Professor Dr Siddiqur Rahman, former director of the Institute of Education and Research at Dhaka University, told TBS that the initiative to take exams online is good. But it is important to maintain quality and its standard so that no one can raise any questions.
Actually the universities need to continue online exams even after the Covid-19 pandemic situation. As such, they should not miss the opportunities, he said.