Art competition in a science lab
Some newspapers say that the University of Khulna is the only politics-free, terrorism-free and session jam-free public university in Bangladesh. But I am suffering from a one-year session jam. The university has a Central Library but it usually does not have the essential books and other necessary material. Even the shortage in classrooms, chairs and rostrums, boards and projectors is somehow tolerable, but recently, the activities of some of our teachers has been highly frustrating. A few days ago, one of my friends in our practical laboratory class named the course "Advanced Drawing Technology". He wasn't completely wrong. In subjects like pharmacy, fisheries, agro-technology, biotechnology and other sciences, practical classes are no less important than theoretical ones. In my current semester, I have 7.5 credit hours of practical classes. But most teachers don't even take these classes. Those who do, make a joke of it by teaching us to draw pictures of various organisms, as if we are at art school. The sight of us at work in our lab would make one think it is an art competition. Only teachers can change the situation. I do not want to accuse our honorable teachers, but I do want to learn.
Palash Chhatra Hall, University of Khulna
Chaos on campus; courtesy: JCD
This past month seems to have been one of Jaityotabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD)-run chaos on public university campuses around the country. On April 10, an anti-Jamaat-e-Islami faction of the ruling party-backed JCD ransacked 55 rooms -- including the Vice-Chancellor's (VC), proctor's and student adviser's offices -- at Rajshahi University (RU), injuring three teachers and 10 students. They attacked the rooms of pro-Jamaat deans and hurled a petrol bomb at another teacher's office. While some senior teachers said the attacks were rooted in a feud between pro-Jamaat VC Prof Faisul Islam Faruki and BNP-backed pro-VC Prof KAM Shahadat Hossain Mondol over the post of VC, RU JCD faction leaders said the violence was to protest the deprivation of the rights of their candidates of different quotas, who are meritorious students, in this year's university admission. Police allegedly stood around and did nothing during the attacks.
On April 13, a reporter from Amader Somoy and a student of mass communication and journalism department, were beaten with rods and hockey sticks by JCD men. They attacked him after he protested their teasing of girls form his department during their orientation programme at TSC at Dhaka University (DU). He was taken to hospital critically injured with head injuries and a broken hand.
On April 18, 26 students were injured, one with a bullet injury, in clashes between JCD factions at Jahangirnagar University (JU).
All in all, it's been a month of regrettable violence by the ruling party-backed student organisation which -- like every other student party -- can only think of their own selfish political gains. The usual protests have been made, classes boycotted and investigations promised, but there seems to be no end to the violence on campus created by the so-called student parties.
A fascinating trip with DIIT
The Daffodil Institute of Information Technology (DIIT) has been revolutionising the computer education system in the country through its spread among Bangladeshi youth since 1999. DIIT has been offering Bachelor Honour's degrees in Computer Information and Management System from the London Metropolitan University through the British Council in Dhaka. Several ministers have visited the DIIT campus and appreciated the way in which the institute imparts computer education with campuses in Dhaka, Comilla, Feni and Chittagong. At a recent Alumni function held for former DIIT students, the latter were asked to raise their hands if any of them was unemployed. Not a single hand was raised, indicating that no DIIT student remains unemployed.
On a recent extended weekend holiday, a group of DIIT students went to Chittagong, Cox's Bazaar and Moheshkhali. The tour was organised by the student club of DIIT, Musafir. A data flow diagramme of the entire tour was posted all over the campus. Response was a little slow due to impending exams but the Kalabagan, Banani and Dhanmondi branches went on the tour.
After a heavy night snack at a mall, the excited DIIT group headed for Kamlapur Station, singing and dancing in the rain as that seemed to be the only way of handling the excitement while also waiting for the delayed (as usual) Chittagong-bound Bangladesh Rail Trail. The excitement of even those who stood inside the train after camping out all night because of lack of seats was not dampened. They were, however, greeted by dawn in the lush green hill tracts. But it took the whole day to get to Cox's Bazaar. But the rest of the trip was spent in the sun, swimming and surfing till after sunset, mountain climbing, visiting the Burmese Market for "Sakee" or knives, braving the chilly sea breeze while dancing in the night. Also in those four days, they went on bumpy speedboat rides and visited 600-year-old Hindu temples with over 1000-year-old gods and goddesses. Throughout the trip, the DIIT students made sure to share knowledge of computers and IT with the locals wherever they went.
Syed Raiyan Abu Zafar , On email
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