Back to online classes: a two-way street

It feels like we are back to Dalgona coffee and online Ludu days as Brac University decided to shift back to online classes from the 15th to the 27th of April. However, BracU has given some departments the freedom to conduct special in-person classes for labs, studio sessions, assessments, etc. to avoid the quality of education being compromised. Many people were caught off guard by this abrupt decision, but it was necessary despite having its pros and cons. 

The decision was made as a result of the students’ protest on April 3, when a number of them gathered in Bot-tola and demanded that in-person classes should be called off. They claimed that during the Eid holidays, the excessive traffic they have to face makes it extremely difficult for individuals to return to their homes outside Dhaka. The ones who protested for online classes are over the moon about this decision. Maysha Rehman (Junior, LLB) says, “Those of us who live outside Dhaka immensely struggle to go home in the last days of Ramadan, to the point that we start dreading it. Shifting to online classes has made going back home what it is supposed to be—something to look forward to.”

However, not everyone embraced this news with a warm hug and a huge smile. Some were catapulted into the horrors of attending online classes and taking exams with severe time constraints. They argue that this will only increase the already enormous academic pressure as faculties tighten their grip while administering classes and exams. Iffat Alam (Junior, LLB) says, “The online classes are undoubtedly more stressful. Teachers expect more from us and doubt that we are cheating, so the quizzes are graded strictly.”

Opting to shift classes back online has its ups and downs, just like every other decision. Not to mention, there will always be someone disheartened about the road not taken. The transport system in Bangladesh during Eid is distressing, to say the least. There is never any certainty that one will find a ticket three days before Eid when the university officially closes. While the added academic pressure is dreadful for the students, at least they can celebrate Eid with their families. Not to mention, the amount of time saved by not having to commute every day during rush hour is just an added bonus. Therefore, even though the decision was controversial, it remains to be one that was necessary. 

Sayed Hossain Shanto

Sayed Hossain Shanto is a contributor at BRACU Express. He is a Junior majoring in Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of English and Humanities. He is passionate about writing and sports. He wants to combine his two passions and become a sports journalist. Sayed also likes to write poems for himself in both Bangla and English.

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