Friday, February 23, 2018 | ePaper

Promotion of varsity teachers on political consideration

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THE New Nation on Sunday carried out a report to say that promotion of teachers in public universities is no longer based on their excellence in research and developing innovative methods to improve the quality of education. It is now based on political consideration of the University Syndicates to reward people linked to the party in power. How much a teacher is active to promote ruling party politics in the campus and outside is real issue now instead of his or her intellectual merit and performance in the classrooms and research labs. In fact meritorious teachers even don't get selection for promotion and research if they are not accepted by ruling party men while political elements are dominating the scene.

The UGC has rightly highlighted that the standard of the country's higher education is only deteriorating despite the fact that the government is spending huge money for the purpose which is being routinely misused and grabbed by vested interest quarter in the name of promoting research to bring transformation in teaching curriculum linked to changing needs of the country's socio-economic development.

Universities are lighthouses for change and teachers are mandated to use half of their time to classroom teaching while the remaining time must go to research. Our universities must be equipped with newer knowledge and technology to support national efforts to create manpower to meet the demands for skilled workforce and managerial persons for fast growing industries and service sectors. But as it appears, most of our senior public university teachers and younger ones are working for private universities at times keeping absence from routine classes at their workplace. They seem to be least bothered to basic research.

It is a total chaos breaking varsity discipline depriving students of devotional teaching. Many teachers are interested to go abroad for higher studies and then don't come back. It appears that teachers working at public universities outside the capital leave the campuses after 2pm giving the look of part time teachers to work in the remaining part of the day for others. It is a crime and not acceptable at all. Moreover private universities don't offer scope for research and their recruitment is also highly political.

The fate of the 300 research works that the government introduced under the Higher Education Quality Enhancement Projcet (HEQEP) against an allocation of Tk 600 crore showed the extent of misuse of the fund without much accountability. Candidates selected mainly on political consideration have left the scheme in total chaos. 

The UGC observation that teaching quality is poor in Bangladesh than in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka deserves to be seriously taking into account. Educationists and even the UGC report has warned of not using education sector to political purpose and our policy makers must pay heed to it. Politicization of the University Education must stop before it undermines the entire higher education system.

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