Professor Kazi Shahidullah, chairman of the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh, told New Age on Wednesday that the universities lack stricter administrations due to politicisation of the education sector.
He said that due to politicisation of the educational institutions the people were getting away from allegations of irregularities and they were becoming Frankenstein.
He said that it was obvious that administrations at many public universities were not working properly.
‘If all worked properly then these complaints would not have surfaced,’ he said and added that people always failed to deliver 100 per cent, but the irregularities that had been witness to in current times, were unacceptable.
He said that the trend was rising as there were many public universities, 49, currently in the country.
While talking about the administrations in the universities, Professor Kazi Shahidullah said that there were different problems at different universities.
About 30 years back, the administrations were firmer, he observed.
‘We are now concerned with the unrest one after another, that too in some important universities, and to some extent the administrations are not playing due roles as they are not firmer as they should be,’ he said.
‘Regarding Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, I feel that if the hall administration would have been firmer or the hall provost played his due role, perhaps the death of Abrar Fahad would not have taken place,’ he said.
‘The incident at BUET is unimaginable. I have no words to talk about it,’ he said and added that the students and the authorities should come forward to mitigate such incident.
He said that positions of provosts were selected by the vice-chancellors and the right people, who could play the due roles in all situations, should be at the right places, only then many problems would be solved.
About the allegation of political appointments in the administrations, he said that if the vice-chancellor was an efficient and strong person then he or she could face the problems and rise above the occasion.
‘The party issue then is not important as the vice-chancellor is for everybody and not for a party only,’ he said.
‘A vice chancellor may have a political view, but when he or she occupied the chair then one will work for the institutions and uphold the interests of institutions as they are the key persons,’ he said.
Like vice-chancellors, the deans, the provosts and the chairpersons of the departments fulfil their duties accordingly then the problems would be reduced, he said.
‘About 106 private universities,’ the UGC chairman said, ‘There exists a general allegation against some of these institutions that quality education was not delivered there.’
‘Problems are always centred on the halls in the public universities with seat allocation and other issues lodging and politicking being a priority,’ he said.
On the incident of admission of the students without intake test, he said that Dhaka University has been able to set a benchmark that when it comes to higher educational platform, no one could be allowed admission in Dhaka University without facing proper tests.
‘This incident put a black mark on an otherwise transparent system,’ he said, adding that the whole society is in a state of unrest and people have much access to money, which is also impacting our behaviour.
‘In the past there were less money and there was peace. Now there is more money and the rate unrest is high. We have to face it. Money doesn’t come without some negatives. And note that everyone is talking about who is making more money,’ he argued.
He said that the kind of fast-paced development that we have engineered over the last few decades, people were now paying the price.
‘It will take time to get these ailments out of our system and hopefully we will re-emerge again as a people,’ he added.
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