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Competition for political blessings among teachers degrading our universities

12 June 2021

Lack of quality research and a dearth of publications are the main reasons for Bangladesh's universities to lag behind those of other countries in world rankings. Eminent educationists have said non-recruitment of qualified teachers and unavailability of latest information on the websites of the universities are among the causes. QS global university ranking 2022  showed even Dhaka University (DU) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) failed to make any progress. In QS evaluation 1,300 universities are judged. Bangladesh's universities fared poorly compared to other Asian universities as we turned our universities into centres of politics.
 DU, which was in the 601-plus bracket in 2012, slipped to 701-plus bracket in 2014 and slid further in 2019. Our universities are far behind in all the criteria that are set for ranking--research, library facilities, the number of foreign students, the administration system, transparency in teacher selection process among others. Educationists say it is important to be well-ranked in terms of the amount of researches that are being cited in our studies. Several universities in India, China and Singapore are moving forward. If we look at them, we can understand our shortcomings. Every stage of education -- from primary to higher level -- is interconnected. Our education lacks adequate planning. We had an education policy which was not implemented, we had a strategic plan [2017-2030] but that is also in deep freeze.
We know why our universities lag behind, we also know how to improve the situation. We have a lot of policies, strategies, plans and programmes. But we have no  sustainable and spirited actions as university teachers have lost their respect ability by engaging in competition to become politically blessed and care little about academic independence. The government doesn't promote competent people who come forward with independent initiatives for education and research. This attitude deprives students of guidance of qualified teachers. Thus the government is the main the obstacle to the quality of education in our universities.

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