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Bangladesh to give phone loans to pupils amid lockdown

Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 14, 2020
Bangladesh is set to provide financial support to help needy students buy smartphones or electronic devices for online classes amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Bangladesh pupils
Phone loans   Bangladesh pupils
Academic activities in Bangladesh have been postponed since March 17 to stem the spread of the lethal virus among students. As of Saturday, the virus has killed 4,668 people in Bangladesh, while infections stand at 334,762 with 236,024 recoveries.

Topics: Bangladesh

Authorities in academic institutions including universities, however, launched online classes in April.

The nation's 46 public universities, teaching more than 500,000 students, including a large number of needy pupils from remote areas, began online academic activities in May.

But due to the lack of economic solvency, many public university students reportedly do not have smartphones, depriving them of the opportunity to take part in online classes.

And the current cost of monthly internet packages is also reportedly not feasible for needy students.

Assessing realities on the ground, the nation's apex regulatory body for higher education, the University Grants Commission (UGC), issued letters to 43 public universities Aug. 6 to provide lists of poor students who do not have smartphones and need financial support.

"Till today [Sept. 9, 2020] we have had the lists of 23,587 students from 38 public universities for this loan," said Kamal Hossain, a director at the commission.

Some universities, including the nation's leading Dhaka University, are expected to send the list this week.