Dhaka, Nov 08 – Several hundred students from various medical and dental colleges blocked the key Shahbagh intersection to press home their four-point demands including introduction of online classes and session-jam free academic years.
The protesters, united under the banner of ‘General students of MBBS and BDS Course’, blocked the road around 11am shouting slogans, halting vehicular movement at the key intersection.
Their demands include taking immediate steps to end session jam, online classes for the next course, not charging extra fees from MBBS/BDS students and refraining from taking professional examinations considering the students’ safety.
They also demanded an alternative to professional exams citing the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re getting into a session jam. We don’t want to sit for tests amid this coronavirus situation. So this time, we want an alternative evaluation,” a protester said, unwilling to be named.
The student explained that after sitting 190 item tests, they get a chance to sit the card test. After 16 cards, they are given a chance to take the professional test.
“We want the authorities concerned to evaluate us on the exams we’ve given so far this year and promote us and start online classes,” the student said.
They protesters also demand cutting fees as they are going through tough times and all academic activities remain suspended. They say the fees are an extra burden on them.
Considering the students’ safety, they demanded starting online classes so that there would be no session jam.
During the protest, police intervened and dispersed them.
Officer-in-Charge of Shahbagh Police Station Mamun-or-Rashid said they didn’t charge batons on the protesters.
“We had to force them to leave the intersection to ease vehicular movement since Shahbagh is one of the busiest in this city. Severe traffic congestion had built up since the beginning of the blockade,” he said. – UNB