Govt provide smartphone soft loan to insolvent students

University Grand Commission (UGC) has decided to provide interest-free loans to insolvent students of public universities. Public universities were instructed to provide a list of insolvent students who really need this support to attend their online classes using smartphones.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the offline classes are closed but online classes are held at public Universities. To attend these classes all students must have a proper device. Sad but true not all students can afford a device or smartphone. A letter was sent to the Minister of Education from the commission to provide free data to students with high-speed internet facilities and to ensure smartphone soft loans.

Depending on this situation (UGC) has sent letters to all 39 public Universities to provide a list of insolvent students for the purchase of the device. All listed students will receive soft loans up to 8,000. The students have to pay the money in four instalments after reopening the university.

This decision was taken by UGC chairman Dr. Kazi Shahidullah at a meeting. Within January 31, next year listed students will get their money in their bank account by soft loan approval committee.

The Dhaka University provided list has a number of 8,556 students which is the highest. Rajshahi University has a list of 4,744 students, Chittagong University has a list of 3,750 students, Jagannath University has a list of 3,654 students, Jahangirnogor University has a list of 2,301 students and BUET sent a list of 1,439 students.

National University, Bangladesh Open University, Islami Arabic University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Chittagong Medical University (CMU), Rajshahi Medical University and Sylhet Medical University have been kept out of the loan facility.

New Universities such as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University, Bangamata Sheikh Fojilatunnesa Mujib Science and Technology University and Sheikh Hasina University also have sent their list with less than 100 students. This info was provided by UGC officials.

University teachers faced a huge problem listing students for this support. Only the insolvent students will get this loan. Due to Covid-19 pandemic teachers have faced many problems connecting with students cause all the students are away from campus. Teachers had to identify students who becameinsolvent during the COVID-19 outbreak. That’s why it was so hard to find them as they are out of campus.

If the Covid-19 period extends, online classes will become a reality said Dr. Kazi Shahidullah UGC chairman. So it is the top priority to provide low-cost internet with necessary device for students.

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