A section of students of government and private medical colleges and dental colleges blocked the Shahbagh intersection in the capital on Sunday morning, demanding online classes and academic years free of 'session jam' amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
Over a hundred students took position at the intersection around 11:30am halting the movement of all kinds of transport in the area. A huge traffic jam has been created due to the blockade.
In a notification on 28 October, the medical education division fixed the third week of December as tentative time for taking first and last part exams of first and third years of MBBS and BDS courses.
Students said classes of medical and dental colleges had been stopped for around eight months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. There is the risk of COVID-19 transmission if the exams are taken now. And if any students get infected, they will lag behind the others.
The authorities will have to take the responsibility of the students who would get infected because of attending exams, they said.
The medical and dental students were chanting slogans at Shahbagh intersection area to press home their four-point demand. The demands include: organising alternative to exams amid the pandemic, issuing an immediate order to take online classes to avoid 'session jam', taking into consideration health risks of medical students while issuing orders regarding exams and classes, and no additional fees from the regular and irregular students during the period that the private medical and dental colleges remain shut.
A protesting student of Anwer Khan Modern Medical College, a private medical college in the capital, said, “We are about to face a 'session jam'. At the same time, we do not want to take exams amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why we are demanding for evaluation in an alternative method."
He further said, "We get the chance to appear for the 'card' after taking exams for 190 items. And, we sit for 'prof' (professional exams) after appearing in 18 cards. We demand online classes of the next phases after promoting students by evaluating them based on the exams we appeared in this session so far.”