Nearly 4,800 insolvent students of Rajshahi University (RU) are going to get loans for purchasing smartphones for taking part in online classes, reports UNB.

University Grants Commission (UGC) will extend the loan in pursuit of online education in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Each student will get Tk 8,000 interest free loan and they can repay the loan in four installments or at a time.

Confirming the loan issue, UGC member professor Bishwajit Chanda said the loan support will be provided within the shortest possible time with a view to ensuring hundred per cent students’ attendance in the cybernetic classes.

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Professor Chanda, who is also a law teacher in the University said all educational institutions across the country remained shut down since 17 March this year due to COVID-19 pandemic and according to government’s latest announcement, the institutions will remain closed till 14 November.

In the uncertainty, the UGC after holding a meeting with all the universities to introduce online classes on 25 June last.

Afterwards, the public and autonomous universities had launched online classes but more than 50 per cent students were found absent.

“The UGC has arranged the loan assistance for removing the financial constraints and limitations being faced by the students,” said Chanda.

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"In addition to the loan, we are talking with the mobile operators for providing internet facilities to the students in easy packages. We are expecting to announce the decision within a shortest possible time,” he added.

In a virtual meeting between UGC and all the 39 public and autonomous universities on 4 November, the decision was taken to provide interest-free study loan amounting to TK 8,000 among 41,501 students throughout the country.