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14th-Sep-2018

We doubt the competence and capacity of UGC to bring quality change in public universities

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VICE-CHANCELLORS of the country's public universities on Wednesday in a discussion with the University Grants Commission (UGC) opened the Pandora's Box of diverse irregularities of teacher recruitment and promotion. Though reciprocal in nature, the criticism of one VC to another in recruiting less qualified candidates in exchange of money, political affiliation, and/or nepotism, and promotion to higher ranks that pulled down the quality education in higher echelons in absence of uniform guideline exposed incredible sorry saga. Definitely, there were some rules and regulations for recruitment and promotion as per the university statutes, but when Senate, syndicate, and academic council -all are controlled by ruling party men, check and balance system and accountability must be withered away. During the regime, the quality education in university fall due to political intervention and quality compromise that needs around half a century to heal.
News media, quoting the meeting, reported that the common irregularities include appointing more teachers than the posts advertised, recruiting less qualified candidates leaving the deserving ones and promoting teachers even though they don't meet the required criteria are common phenomena in public universities. The VC of Jagannath University, also a post holding member of the ruling party's youth wing, said Dhaka University recruited many teachers who did not even have the minimum qualifications, while many deprived candidates for Jagannath University said the VC recruits only the candidates who have post in Chhatra League, can bribe or hail from Barishal. There are some universities where a teacher has become a professor with only 10 years of teaching experience while VC of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology said anarchy is going on in the public universities over the recruitment and promotion as certain universities follow certain guidelines.
We welcome the initiative --- the meeting for formulating uniform guidelines for mandatory written test for recruiting teachers, incentives to best teachers, strengthening UGC and ensuring accountability. But we are still doubtful about competence and capacity of UGC for making any quality change.