At least one shortcut to the education crisis has finally been discovered! Authorities at Dhaka University concluded that allowing a reduced number of students to enroll in the university would help improve the quality of its educational outcomes.
While announcing the next reduction in the number of places for entrants to the first cycle, they did not however explain how such a decision would help to automatically make learners of qualified human resources.
Discussions took place on campus in the late 1980s to limit the number of students at universities so that only extraordinary talent would be enrolled and maintain desired standards.
The following decades saw an explosion in the number of university students and the introduction of more disciplines not only to accommodate a greater number of learners, but above all a greater number of teachers and their leadership positions. The current DU administration may have looked back and tried to start over from the past.
In fact, how students might benefit from a better education, unless better education is offered, has not been debated for a long time. As if Bangladeshi universities do not need to train or hire quality teachers to ensure the success of their students.
When high school students in general failed to follow the so-called creative courses in public exams, it was argued that there was a serious shortage of teachers able to run the program without copying the textbooks.
This discussion was over there! There is seldom an attempt to attract creative talents to teaching, establishing the profession as a worthy profession, socially and otherwise.
Now the nation is demanding a massive number of qualified teachers, but the positions are not vacant for the entry of many, especially fresh blood. Even if positions are available, there can be no guarantee that the best candidate will be selected.
So why would the best students with self-esteem join the unequal competition to come to teaching? Already other professions, especially the civil service, and better educational opportunities elsewhere, are attracting them.
Educators like Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed often regret that none of the young academics want to become a teacher these days.
The result is obvious but another question can be asked: is it not a failure of the existing teachers to present themselves as the guru of the agents of change?
This void was created by focusing on engineering, medical, and business studies as career goals for decades.
It is also family and society that dictate young minds to pursue studies and a profession other than teaching. Making a boy or girl a proper human being is no longer a priority – what a fallacy!
The country today suffers from the lack of a pool of competent teachers. Many incidentally became teachers, finding no other options or founding business ventures on behalf of educational institutions.
A teacher is a school child’s first hero and a college student’s longtime guide. Famous teachers were widely revered far beyond the schools and colleges where they taught. This is unfortunately a thing of the past.
The decline in the passion and dedication of teachers has been reflected in the degradation of values in all spheres.
Almost gone are the “exceptional” teachers who can deny the vagaries and aberrations of society. Some teachers now complain that their students do not respect them. In a conversation with this scribe, a foreign teacher said the weather had changed; “A modern day teacher must earn respect.”
In 1985, a professor of political science, Mr. Fazlul Haque, then deputy principal of Nagarpur College, Tangail, asked his students to dream big but be humble. “Nowadays people call someone bagher bachcha or the cub of a tiger to appreciate his daring in society; but we want manusher bachcha or children of human beings and our job is to make them better human beings, ”he said during an orientation program.
Unfortunately, we have largely departed from the tradition of showing admiration for learned people. Thus, we want to solve the problems of education without addressing the main issue of raising the level of education.