Education is a major victim of Covid-19 and more so in our country. Results of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations were delayed while Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams remain uncertain. Some institutions, especially private universities, are somehow managing classes online, but students of public universities are not yet covered under such facilities.
Most of the public universities are not technologically equipped, either. Even admission process can sometimes give a student headache. Moving from one building to another becomes a tiring job on the day of admission. But, that is not supposed to be the case today.
We, the public university students, suffer session jams almost every year. The year 2020 is about to be a complete waste. Taking online classes from the beginning of the pandemic was not an impossible task. We failed to do so. Now we are going to face a number of problems.
One key issue is: female students will face pressure to get married before completing their study. Because all girls don't get enough support to achieve their goals. It's not written anywhere that their in-laws will be supportive and/or she will be able to pursue her studies after marriage. So, this session lapse may ruin career prospects of many.
Most of the students today want government jobs, where there is an age limit. It takes longer than expected time to complete the Bachelor's degree. In such a situation, many cannot pursue their goal with adequate preparations.
Some students support their families financially and .finding a job right after graduation is their crying need. Employers want at least a Bachelor's degree for a good job. Part-time jobs for undergraduates are rarely available. So, families of such students are likely to suffer in the coming months and years.
A friend told us: "Online class is a posh thing". Many of us think, this is meant for students of private universities and it is partially true. Public university students are mostly from middle, lower-middle class and rural families. Spending money on buying mobile data is not possible. Also, the network speed is not good enough. In such a situation, some remedial measures can be taken:
Any operator with the help of government can offer free internet facilities to students only for online classes. Any code to access the internet can be used which would be provided to their head of the department. Students can be provided with this facility only at a particular time. Also, the government may help the students by providing a monthly package with a good network service for taking part in online sessions.
Many of the students were having their final exams before lockdown and some are still left. So, public university authorities should look for ways and means to solve this problem.
Such measures could be temporary solutions. We also need permanent solution to problems of education after the pandemic ends. We've enrolled in the public universities through strong competition but what do we get now? A large sum of taxpayers' money is spent for public universities and we don't see progress in building information technology infrastructures as expected.
We study about technology but we are not applying them in real life. We are still dreaming of taking/attending online classes. It's proven that investing in IT-based education is rewarding. This is high time we modernised our education system with up-to-date infrastructure and curriculums.
Ramisa Rahman Shitu is a second semester student at the Department of Marketing, Jahangirnagar University. firstname.lastname@example.org