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To accomplish this, they sent a virtual form to students and teachers and asked them to fill out their needs in the form. After receiving the forms, the authorities provided interest free loans to buy mobile phones or laptops as required. Besides, BUET authorities also decided to pay the bill for high speed internet connection.

Not every student has the same financial status. Many have to depend on tuition or part-time jobs to bear their educational expenses. Taking every student into consideration, a survey was conducted online among 5,500 students through a form sent to their own email.

Information on how many of the students do not have smart devices to attend online classes, the quality of internet connections in different areas, who do not have the ability to purchase internet data and so on, was collected through the survey. Of them, some 370 students did not have appropriate devices to attend classes online and they were provided with interest free loans of Tk 30,000 based on online applications. In this way, all of the students were brought under the mobile and laptop facilities. Besides, some 1,800 students did not have the ability to purchase internet data every month. They were given a grant of Tk 500 per month for the high speed internet connection. Teachers and students were given 625 SIM cards with special internet packages on the basis of agreements with three mobile phone operators so that they can take part in online classes and examinations free of cost.

Apart from that, the students who have been diagnosed with coronavirus were given Tk 3,500 and those whose family members are infected with coronavirus were given a grant of Tk 2,500 by the university authorities. A total of 469 students have been brought under this service. Besides, 133 teachers also got a loan of Tk 45,000 each from the university to ensure a good device for all the teachers as well. Apart from that, the university authorities also have helped its students to get vaccinated. So far, a total of 2,120 BUET students have been vaccinated.

While the other public universities have introduced so called online classes where they are not even bothering to care about student’s attendance, the initiatives of the BUET is not only commendable but also worth following. It must be admitted that not all the universities have the same capabilities and many of the universities have more students. But if they tried, they could bring most of the students to the online class even if the student’s attendance was not 100 per cent like BUET. This proves that BUET is not only one of the best educational institutions in the country, but can also provide the best service for the students to continue their educational activities even during a pandemic.

Naturally the question arises, what has the Ministry of Education, considered as the guardian of education, done to keep the online classes running in the pandemic?

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