After Nearly Two Months, Comilla University Reopens Amidst Ongoing Tensions

After nearly two months of closure due to conflicts between the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr. A.F.M. Abdul Moyeen, and the Teachers’ Association, Comilla University finally reopened its doors on Sunday, June 23. Although the teachers have returned to classes, they have declared that their protest activities will continue. The Vice-Chancellor is hopeful that this reopening will mark the beginning of a return to normalcy in campus activities.

Resumption of Classes with Caution

According to the previous announcement, while the teachers are back in the classroom, they will observe a two-hour work stoppage each day. They have also stated that if their demands are not met by July 20, they will reconsider their stance on classes and exams.

The Teachers’ Association had been on a phased boycott of classes from April 13 to April 23, presenting seven demands. Although they briefly returned to classes, an incident of violence against teachers led to another boycott. Finally, the university was closed indefinitely following the 93rd Syndicate Meeting on April 30.

Campus Life Resumes

On the first day of reopening, the campus saw the return of most teachers and students. Administrative staff were also busy resuming their duties. However, some students were yet to return from the Eid holidays. The authorities are hopeful that the campus will be bustling with activity by next week.

Saiful Islam, a student of the Archaeology department, shared, “I arrived at the dorm last night. Classes have started today, but the campus is still quite empty. I believe it will get busier next week. I hope the conflict between the Vice-Chancellor and the Teachers’ Association will be resolved soon, so we don’t face any more disruptions.”

Teachers’ Continued Protests

Despite resuming classes, the Teachers’ Association has decided to conduct online classes on Saturdays to make up for lost time. However, their demand for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor remains firm, and they will continue their sit-in protest from 12 PM to 2 PM daily. They have also called for a halt on new appointments until their demands are fully met.

Professor Dr. Abu Taher, the President of the Teachers’ Association, emphasized, “We have returned to classes considering the students’ interests. However, we cannot fully trust the Vice-Chancellor’s promises. Our demands must be completely fulfilled. Until then, we will continue our two-hour daily work stoppage and protest in front of the administrative building.”

Administration’s Response

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. A.F.M. Abdul Moyeen stated, “We have accepted all the teachers’ demands. Some demands are policy-related, and we have formed committees to address them. Since the demands have been accepted, we hope the teachers will now regularly conduct their classes.”

When asked about the continuation of the teachers’ protests, the Vice-Chancellor responded, “The administration has accepted their demands. Now, the teachers should focus on teaching and research. Whether their continued protest is justified or not, we cannot say.”

Looking Ahead

The reopening of Comilla University is a positive step towards restoring normalcy. Both the administration and the teachers need to work collaboratively to ensure a stable and conducive educational environment. The resolution of this conflict is crucial for the well-being of the students and the academic progress of the institution.

JR Nayan

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