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To ensure quality higher education

Increase of seats at public varsities to be stopped!

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15th-Sep-2018       
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M M Jasim  :
The government has taken decision not to increase seats in the public universities when the number of teachers and classrooms is short of requirement. Rather it will be proper to give emphasis on the necessity of imparting quality higher education.
The Bangladesh University Grants Commission sent letters to the public university authorities to follow the government's direction.
 "Please don't increase seats in any public university before arranging adequate classrooms,   
 teachers and other required facilities. Random admission hinders quality higher education," the UGC letter said.
UGC Chairman Professor Abdul Mannan said, "We have dispatched the letters to the public universities detailing the ministry's direction. I hope that all the varsities will abide by the direction."
However, when contacted, Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor Akhtaruzzaman told The New Nation on Friday that they did not get any letter from the UGC yet.
 "Whether we will increase seats or not, it is university affair. The ministry or UGC cannot send any direction to us in this regard," the VC reminded.
Earlier, the Education Ministry asked the UGC to take proper initiative in this regard.
On July 10, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) opined, it is necessary to stop increase of seats in the public universities without required facilities, with instruction to execute her order.
The Prime Minister gave the directives when the educationists and higher education experts criticised the country's public universities controversial role on ensuring world standard higher education. They said that the administration of the public varsities increased their seats every year but they did not concentrate to improve their academic activities. As a result, the country's higher educational institutions are crying for quality education.
Recently, Islamic University, Kushtia, introduced a department named "Human Resource Management" without any classroom and teachers. Some hired teachers from different departments are taking classes. After that the university faced widespread criticism. This is a single example. Such activities had been done almost at every universities.   
Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury told The New Nation that it would bring bad result if the public universities increase seats every year without adequate teachers and classrooms.
 "Quality higher education is impossible without fulfilling the necessary infrastructure and other instruments," he said.
Meanwhile, Khondoker Hamidur Rahman, Director of Information, Management, Communication and Training Division of the UGC said the direction would not be burden to those universities who have already took approval of the UGC to increase seats.
It may be mentioned there are 41 public universities in the country with a total of 50,000 seats.
But a good number of students are passing in the Higher Secondary Education examination. As many as 800,000 students passed the HSC examination this year. As a result, the number of higher education seekers are also increasing.
Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury said it is government's duty to impart higher education to the HSC passed students. It will not be good if they are deprived of higher education, he said.

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