UGC allows in-person practical classes, exams for final semester students of pvt univs at ‘limited scale’

The University Grants Commission has allowed private university students who are in their final semester to attend practical classes and examinations in person.

These classes and examinations will be held following strict heath guidelines and maintaining six feet distance between students, UGC said in a directive issued today.

A maximum of 10 students from each class will be allowed to attend the lab classes and examinations, and only one class will take place per day, it said.

Students will enter the campus 30 minutes prior to class and examinations and leave the campus 30 minutes after the examinations.

Universities will bear all responsibilities if any student, teacher or staff get infected with Covid-19, the UGC also said in the directive, adding, “The commission will not take kind of responsibilities in this regard.”

UGC officials said they took the decision as many private universities appealed to them to do so as only a handful of students need to take the practical classes and examinations for graduation.

All private universities have kept their campuses closed since March 17 to curb the spread of Covid-19. The closure was extended till November 14. The academic activities including classes and examinations are being held online.

Earlier this week, UGC Chairman Prof Kazi Shahidullah told The Daily Star, “We are not reopening the universities, we are just allowing them to attend classes and examinations under special circumstances.”

UGC in a directive in May said private universities that have completed 70 percent of academic activities for outgoing semesters and have been conducting online classes successfully for theoretical courses will be able to evaluate their students through online viva examinations and virtual presentations.

UGC also said such universities can grade students taking into account the attendance, assignments, presentations and mid-term examination results held before online tests. They can also take results of previous semesters into consideration while preparing results for the outgoing session.

But it also said practical classes for all laboratory-based courses will have to be completed in the classroom once the situation becomes normal.

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