Political pick in teachers' recruitment is a menace for higher education

19 January 2021

APPOINTMENT of teachers at public universities often depends on political considerations or personal connections instead of merit, for which under-qualified candidates are recruited. Vice-Chancellors or influential teachers using their political clout mount pressure on selection committees and syndicates for the appointment of candidates of their choice as teachers in breach of set norms, rules and regulations. Influential groups manage to have recruitment advertisements published asking for specific qualifications to provide advantages to candidates of their choice and sometimes they do not even bother to recruit applicants disregarding qualifications specified in advertisements.
The appointment of under-qualified teachers at public universities has become a menace for such institutions that now hardly produce quality graduates. Nepotism usually starts at departments as teachers favour their chosen students with higher marks than they deserve from the beginning of their university life. Selection committee members also prefer such candidates over others. Educationists termed the danger of under-qualified teachers' recruitment an outcome of the politicisation. It's been happening for years at public universities as the Vice-Chancellors are appointed by the executive order of the government but not in accordance with the guidelines prescribed in the university acts. The VCs at the big and older public universities are therefore required to serve purposes of the ruling party and also the teachers' electoral panels affiliated to the ruling party.
The rampant corruption and nepotism in appointing and promoting teachers at public universities of the country are really frustrating. The length of the job for the promotion of teachers also varies between universities, like a teacher has become a professor in 10 years at Jahangirnagar University while such promotions take at least 17 years at Dhaka University. University watchdog UGC in 2019 submitted a draft policy to the Education Ministry spelling out the minimum qualifications for the appointment and promotion of public university teachers, which is yet to be adopted. We endorse educationists urge for setting minimum qualifications for ensuring the appointment and promotion of teachers based on merit --- a need of the hour.

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