QUALITY of education at public universities compared to the international educational standard has fallen alarmingly. We are way behind in all fields of education compared to our immediate neighbour India. We do not have enough natural resources to sustain a growing population. Our only hope for the future is our bright, innovative and intelligent population resource.
God has given us a population resource having an enormous potential. If properly trained in an environment conducive to learning, they can quickly learn any new technology. Unfortunately, our public universities were used by politician to achieve their ill-motivated aspirations. Our highly educated public university professors once they earn their PhDs give up learning and become terminally educated. They fell into the trap of the politicians and become highly politicised. They give up their pursuit of knowledge and scholarly activities and are initiated into the shadow of politics.
They find out that by getting themselves involved in right politics and making right connection, they can advance their career without caring for proper channel. They do not feel obliged to improve themselves professionally and thus, they become outdated in their field.
Unfortunately, we do not have a fair evaluation in place to evaluate our professor’s teaching quality and their professional development. Their teaching load is light compared to that of the western universities. In the USA, a four years’ (BS degree) university teacher has to give three lectures and teach at 2-3 lab classes every semester. They are evaluated by their student every semester and by their peer every academic year. They have to keep updating their knowledge base to keep their job going. To get their job made permanent (tenured), they have to publish scholarly activities (original publications) in a peer reviewed journal.
There are checks and balances so that students can obtain quality education. Public university professors in Bangladeshi are not accountable for their professional activities. They have plenty of free time to meddle in politics and extract political favour from the politician. Since the teachers are not teaching seriously, the students are not getting the full benefit of their learning experience.
Like Bangladesh, nowhere in the world students are so directly involved in politics. This is the right moment to bring about a fundamental reform in the higher education of Bangladesh. The whole education system in Bangladesh needs urgent overhauling so that we can shape and mould our human resources to meet the challenging future of tough competition.
To make our public universities a healthy place of higher learning and building for our future generations, we must prohibit teacher’s and student’s politics in the campuses. Student can have a non-political student government elected by the general student body to run their affairs in the universities.
That is how student run their affairs at the western universities. Students can have non-political social, economic, professional and religious clubs to learn about social interactions and develop leadership quality. We have a great hope that once we rid our campuses of clumsy, destructive politics, our universities will produce the best and the brightest minds of south Asia.