Prolonged lockdown and academic uncertainties in Bangladesh: A qualitative investigation during the COVID-19 pandemic
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2021
Discipline:- Sociology Discipline
School:- Social Science School
The erratic nature of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) forced the Bangladeshi government to shut down all the educational institutions since March 18, 2020. This prolonged closure not only detached the students from their study but also increased anxiety among them regarding their future academic as well as professional careers. The present study aimed to explore the perception and understanding of the students and teachers regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the academic life and career pursuit of university students in Bangladesh. With a semi-structured interview schedule, data for this qualitative study were collected from 8 purposively selected participants, using telephone interviews, affiliated with a public university in Bangladesh. Students argued that the extended closure is responsible for the delayed graduation of the senior students, thereby, mounting mental stress and frustration among them. The informants unequivocally opposed the online education platform, as a solution for the ongoing gap, due to scarcity of the resources, and unequal accesses and opportunities for all. It has been suggested that the education gap can be reduced by shortening the term, curtailing the preparatory leave, and taking extra classes over the weekends when the universities re-open together with enforced collective health hygiene.