New Start Date for First Year Classes at Rajshahi University

Rajshahi University (RU) has rescheduled the start of classes for the first-year undergraduate (honors) students of the 2023-24 academic year to July 15. Originally, the classes were set to begin on July 1, but the university administration decided to delay the start due to the ongoing teachers’ movement. This protest is against the new pension policy, among other demands. The admission deadline has also been extended to July 11.

The RU Teachers’ Association has declared a two-day half-day work stoppage and a full-day work stoppage to protest the finance ministry’s new pension regulations. They have warned of a complete work stoppage from July 1 if their demands are not met.

The university was supposed to resume academic activities on June 30 after the Eid and summer vacations. However, the teachers’ decision to strike has cast doubt on whether classes will resume as scheduled.

On June 24, RU Teachers’ Association General Secretary Professor Dr. Omar Faruk Sarkar announced the details of the work stoppage and protests in a press release. The release mentioned half-day work stoppages on June 26 and 27, a full-day work stoppage on June 30, and a continuous work stoppage from July 1 if their demands are not met.

The teachers are taking a firm stance, having already notified the university administration and all department heads in writing about the strike and protests. According to the teachers’ association, about 800 RU teachers have signed a petition against the new pension regulations.

Professor Dr. Omar Faruk Sarkar stated, “We have conducted several sit-ins and half-day work stoppages to ensure that students’ academic activities are not disrupted. But now we must take a firm stance. If the government does not respond to our demands, we will observe a full work stoppage from July 1. Although this may cause temporary inconvenience to students, our primary concern is their future.”

Dr. Sarkar also emphasized that the protest is for the benefit of future meritorious students who aspire to become university teachers. He accused a certain group of trying to prevent talented students from entering the university by removing the pension scheme and misleading the Prime Minister. He demanded the immediate withdrawal of the discriminatory pension regulations and the fulfillment of their three-point demand.

Meanwhile, the university administration is monitoring the situation and has stated that academic decisions will be made by individual departments. Multiple responsible university officials have confirmed this approach.

RU Pro-Vice Chancellor (Administration) Professor Dr. Md. Sultan-ul-Islam commented, “The university administration is not in a position to declare the campus closed. The teachers are going on strike based on their demands, but the campus remains open. Students can enter the campus at the scheduled time. However, the new first-year classes will now start on July 15 instead of July 1.”

AK Kabir

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