Rumors of University Closure from July 1: What We Know

A post circulating on various pages and groups on social media claims that all public universities in the country will suspend classes and exams from July 1 to July 13. Hundreds of users are reacting to these posts, with many sharing them on their own timelines. Some call it a rumor, while students express uncertainty about the situation.

The root of these rumors lies in the announcement by the Bangladesh University Teachers’ Federation to observe an indefinite strike from July 1, demanding the withdrawal of the universal pension scheme notification. It is believed that the social media posts about university closures are tied to the teachers’ scheduled strike.

After the Eid holidays, almost all universities in the country are set to reopen on July 1. Additionally, July 1 marks Dhaka University Day, and several universities, including Dhaka University, are scheduled to start classes for new students on the same day. If the teachers go on strike from that day, it is unlikely that classes and exams will take place, leading to uncertainty among university students.

When asked about the matter, Professor Dr. Zeenat Huda, General Secretary of the Dhaka University Teachers’ Association, told The Daily Campus on Saturday afternoon that there are no directives from their side regarding university closures, despite the previously announced strike. She clarified that the posts about university closures are rumors.

Professor Zeenat Huda stated, “We will hold a press conference tomorrow, Sunday, regarding the strike program. All related matters will be clarified then. The press conference has been called by the Bangladesh University Teachers’ Federation at 12 PM.”

Earlier, on May 20, the Bangladesh University Teachers’ Federation held a press conference demanding the withdrawal of the ‘discriminatory notification’ regarding the universal pension scheme and the continuation of the previous pension scheme. Following this, on June 26, at 11:30 AM, university teachers held a simultaneous human chain at Dhaka University and 36 other universities across the country. Subsequently, on May 28, they observed a two-hour work stoppage, and from June 25 to 27, they held a three-day half-day work stoppage nationwide. On June 30, they plan to observe a full-day work stoppage. If their demands are not met, they have announced an indefinite strike starting July 1. The Dhaka University Senate also announced an all-out movement from July 1 in their meeting on June 26.

The Federation has outlined several reasons why the universal pension scheme is unfavorable for teachers. They argue that this scheme undermines the dignity of the teaching profession, creates economic uncertainty, and causes psychological stress by curtailing existing benefits. This, they say, will discourage talented individuals from pursuing teaching. If a teacher is directly or newly appointed to a higher position, they must leave the existing pension system and join the universal pension scheme, leading to significant financial loss.

When asked, the Secretary-General of the Federation and President of the Dhaka University Teachers’ Association, Professor Md. Nizamul Haque Bhuiyan, said, “We have tried to communicate our demands to the Education Minister, advisors, and state ministers, but none have discussed the matter with us. Therefore, we have no option but to resort to our movement. Teachers have nothing but self-respect. We believe that joining the universal pension scheme under the current process will leave teachers deprived and discriminated against.”

JR Nayan

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