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Quality Education Factor in Bangladesh

Online Desk | January 20, 2013
Improving Higher Education in Bangladesh

Improving Higher Education in Bangladesh

More than four decades have elapsed since the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country. Now it can build ocean-going ships, produce rolled steel coil, assemble air cooler, fridge, motorbike, sedan, textile products and so on. Bangladesh is moving towards industrialization. The number of people living below the poverty line is also decreasing.

It is expected that in the next decade Bangladesh would achieve the status of a middle-income country. A lot of industries will need skilled manpower. Indeed, a shortage of technically skilled manpower will be a major impediment to economic development of the country.

In public universities the curriculum of courses are prepared by a group of experts formed under rules and regulations imposed from above. In doing this job, the committee takes examples from the established universities of the country and abroad. There are provisions for occasional revisions of the same. However 'bright' the curriculum of a foreign university might be, it is not possible to accept those as it is, by any country, without considering the backgrounds and consequences.

The private universities have their own system of preparing course curriculum. Since these are published in websites and occasionally checked by the University Grants Commission (UCG), the university authorities endeavour to show the best in it. One should not wonder if the best type of curriculum of courses is prescribed by the worst type of private universities.

In Bangladesh, BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) is said to maintain the highest standard of education in engineering subjects. All public and private universities teaching similar subjects feel safe to follow it. The two prime factors responsible for BUET's high standard are: i) It employs only the best students as teachers and ii) it accepts only the top quality students.

The third factor may be iii) tradition and iv) the unique system of dissemination of knowledge. BUET's long earned image and tradition maintains moral pressure on the teachers and students to uphold high standard. As for dissemination of knowledge, the teachers generally practice the followings: a) Only the difficult topics are explained in easy language, b) no class notes are given to the students and c) the entire course is never discussed in the class. Because of the last factor, the students are compelled to visit the libraries and consult books. To their good fortune BUET has got excellent libraries (central, departmental, rental and internet) to provide what the students need or want. In BUET some of the students prepare class notes in a presentable way, photocopy those for selling with the name "chotha." Even though it is a deviation, this practice could not lower the quality of education, because those never cover the full course. On the other hand, it helps those who could not take notes in the class for one reason or the other. Some deviations, however, are taking place for altogether different reasons. We shall explain one such deviation.

In view of the growth of many private universities offering engineering subjects, BUET teachers get good opportunities to teach there with fat remuneration. One departmental head was asked about the affect of this practice on the standard of education of BUET. In reply, he said that earlier the teachers used to rush to the class and give lectures. Now that they also go the private universities, as per rule, they need to prepare class notes for the students. Later, they use the same notes for BUET students and they are benefited.

This explanation is totally erroneous. The teachers teaching in private universities need to give notes such that the inferior quality students may pass. If the same practice is introduced in BUET, the standard would surely decline. It is high time for the BUET authorities to look into the matter with all seriousness.

Failing and passing in the universities should be accepted as normal phenomenon. If the authorities stress on passing of more students and the teachers take conducive steps, the standard of education would decline. If any university declares with satisfaction that all or most of their students pass in the examinations, then it in fact reveals its low standard of education.

Affect of coaching centres on higher education: The only means of comparing the quality of students is through their grades in public examinations. However, this criterion would have worked much more efficiently, if there was no 'coaching centre business' in the country. Since the coaching centres supply "well written answers" of selected questions, the inferior quality students memorise those and get higher grades. However, the grade in Mathematics (inclusive of all mathematical subjects) may be considered an exception. If the education boards take a decision of giving altogether new problems in mathematics question in the public examinations, then the grade of mathematics could be considered the best criterion of quality.

The university teachers feel the ill effects of the coaching centres through the poor performances of students with high grades. The students accustomed to 'coaching centres' in general are reluctant to take the trouble of finding out the answers by themselves and expect the teachers to do the same for them. In some private universities the teachers in fact have submitted to their pressures. One efficient way to improve the quality of higher education in Bangladesh is to close all coaching centres. শিক্ষা সংক্রান্ত খবরাখবর নিয়মিত পেতে রেজিস্ট্রেশন করুন অথবা Log In করুন।

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