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‘No attendance leeway’: IBA Karachi criticised over strict coronavirus policy

Varsity says individual cases will be reviewed

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 3, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 3, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago

Photo: iba.edu.pk

The Institute of Business Administration Karachi met widespread criticism after it announced on Wednesday that it will not give students any leeway in attendance if they contract the novel coronavirus.

According to a student who wanted to remain anonymous, the students received an email from the varsity stating that it will begin in-person classes from September 15, as per the government’s announcement, and shared detailed SOPs that will be followed after the university reopens.

“All students are requested to follow safety measures such as wearing a mask on campus, frequent washing and sanitizing of hands, avoiding all forms of physical contact and maintaining a physical distance of three to six feet with other,” the email read.

The varsity has also issued a document containing detailed SOPs that the students are required to follow.

One of the things mentioned in the document, however, was criticised by students and sparked outrage and anger on social media.

It said, “Please note, if a student contracts COVID-19, he/she will not be given any leeway in attendance. Absences allowed for a course as per policy will remain in force and no exception on medical grounds will be given. Use your absences wisely, be cautious in late comings and in skipping classes.” The allowed number of absences for each class varies between two and five days.

In another place the document also states that students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get themselves tested and avoid coming to campus.

Students took to Twitter and Facebook to call out the varsity. They called it “inhumane” and “unfair”. Some filed a petition against the policy on Change.org while others requested the government to take action.

IBA’s Head of Marketing and Communication Haris Tohid told SAMAA Digital that the policy has been issued to “instill clear the severity of the coronavirus pandemic among students and highlight the importance of behaving responsibly on campus given the prevailing situation”.

He said this will act as a reinforcement for students to attend classes regularly and not use a suspected flu as an excuse for their absences. “This will basically make sure that the students are strictly following the SOPs.”

Tohid assured that the varsity has always given leeway to students with medical conditions. “When a COVID-19 case comes, we will give leeway to the student after reviewing their case and considering factors such as attendance and CGPA,” he added.

According to the attendance policy of the university, every full-time student is required to complete have at least 83% attendance. If they don’t meet this requirement, they will be given an F grade in that course.

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One Comment

  1. Arsalan Ahmad  September 4, 2020 4:17 pm/ Reply

    1.They clearly failed to communicate their strategy and as head of marketing Mr. Harris is a shame to IBA alumni. If they have thought through the process, they could have asked students for medical report to confirm between covid and flu. Through this policy students will now treat covid as flu.
    2. Minimum time for a covid patient to recover is 2 weeks and each course has 2 classes per week, which means if someone is infected they would have to take all the remaining classes without absences just to sit in exams. Which means no emergencies, sickness, flat tiers etc.
    3.This is a case of harassment and compromising lives, students should take this to court.
    4. As per policy by HEC the minimum required attendance is 75% not 83%. This is a made up policy by IBA.

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