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Teachers recruited through ‘unfair means’ at public universities: TIB

WT24 Desk

Recruitment of teachers to public universities are these days done based on political affiliation, nepotism, religious identities and illegal exchange of money, depriving meritorious applicants, reveals a new TIB study, Agencies report.

As political ideology, nepotism, religious identities and localism of applicants and illegal exchange of money get priority, the study says, these illegal means create impediments to ensuring equal scopes for efficient applicants in requirement of lecturers to public universities.

Programme managers (research and policy) of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)Md Rezaul Karim and Dipu Roy jointly revealed the findings of the study, ‘Lecturers’ Recruitment at Public Universities: Good Governance Challenges and Way Forward’, at a press conference at its office on Sunday.

TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, its deputy executive director Sumaiya Khair, member Dr Syed Manzoorul Islam and director Rafiqul Hasan were present. The German-based anti-graft agency conducted the study on 13 public universities during January to December 2016. It examined the requirement process of these universities from 2001 to 2016.

The study found irregularities in every stage of teacher requirement to public universities, saying the actual demand of teachers and pattern of verbal examinations are often changed in teacher requirement while results are engineered to create job opportunities for ‘chosen-candidates’.

Political leaders, ministers, influential teachers and local leaders put pressure on vice-chancellors, pro-vice chancellors, deans and heads of departments of universities to recruit their recommended-candidates as university teachers.

Besides, the study reveals that the vice-chancellors, pro-vice-chancellors, deans and heads of departments also hire their followers or political affiliates to increase vote bank in favor of them.

Allegations are also there that teachers have been appointed to eight universities out of 13 through illegal exchange of money – minimum Tk 3 lakh and maximum Tk 16 lakh. A section of vice-chancellors, teacher leaders, staff of Registrar’s offices, student leaders, public representatives and political leaders are involved in the corruption.

Dr Syed Manzoorul Islam, a professor of English department at Dhaka University, said the TIB study findings are true. “If poor quality teachers are appointed to universities, they’ll cause harm to the universities for 40 years because students are deprived of getting quality education,” he said.

There are debates that whether university teachers will be appointed through written test or not, the TIB member said, adding that now private universities are hiring teachers through written test and the time is not far away that public universities will have hold written test to recruit quality teachers.

“University teachers should be appointed following three steps – written test, viva test and class demonstration. And we must go ahead with these steps to appoint competent teachers at universities,” he said.

Dr Manzoorul said the government is going ahead to pass the National Accreditation Council Bill. And once it is enacted, problems over university teacher recruitment will get solved.”  Dr Iftekharuzzaman said like other sectors, corruption in university teacher requirement is getting institutionalised.

He stressed the need for announcing an integrated and complete policy for teacher appointment to public universities and forcing all universities to follow it.

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