May 20, 2013 | 10:58 AM (BD Time)
20 May, 2013 Monday
JUST: Crisis in higher education and research
Dependency on traditional hand notes and teaching in Bengali medium affecting new generation
Tazmun Nahar Liza, SUST :
The quality of higher education and students and teachers' attitude towards research at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), Sylhet are in deep crisis. This is because the students now depend more on the traditional hand notes while the teaching method is being carried out in Bengali medium.
This in turn is creating shortage of scientists, learned persons, scholars, efficient manpower and people in the intellectual leadership and thus ruining the new generation of knowledge seekers. And most teachers blame the ongoing education system for these vagaries of the nation but in many cases they are to be blamed in the first case.
Students make the teachers and the nation's intellectual stock passing through many phases. But if the education system is mostly dependent on hand note to begin with university education and moreover teaching goes on in Bengali medium, the future prospect of developing highly trained manpower stands bleak.
The social science faculty is particularly suffering from this handicap and faculty teachers agree to such problem. An assistant Professor of the SUST said made a point to this issue recently saying the university is having a rich library with collection of many books, journals, besides every department has seminar libraries and working materials. Teachers and students have free accessibility of using e-resource but they are remaining unutilized, largely because of lack of interest.
Teachers and students attendance to central library and seminar libraries is very poor. Though some students regularly work in the library, they read mainly traditional notes than reading original textbooks.
Despite having passed 21 years since the start of the university, most departments run teaching and exams in Bengali medium, except some departments in the science and business faculties.
The teaching and exams were in English at the beginning. But when the medium slowly turned into Bengali, teachers and students start staying away from the English medium books. This tendency has created a situation in which even a post graduate student can not write an application now in English. Moreover, since all the books, journals and reading materials in all subjects including science, computer-internet base knowledge etc are in English, most teachers and students can't use them now as they are growing in Bengali medium.
Since the teachers deliver lecture in Bengali in the class rooms and refers study materials in Bengali books, the students turn to traditional notes of their elder brothers or sisters who made the notes and scored good marks and excellent results from them.
Students just memorize the notes before the exams and write on the answer script rather than producing answers from studied materials.
"Two years ago in 2010, SUST started Masters in Philosophy and Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) courses. It is now most appropriate for the researchers and supervisors to turn to seminar and workshops to familiarize them with the prerequisite of research" said the Assistant Prof. Iqbal Ahmed Chowdhury, but there is hardly anything visible of this sort.
Students from first year take to look at the boys or girls of their next senior year having good results and collect their notes. Teachers in many cases also resort to consultancy, share business and part time job in private universities.
Bengali medium teaching is very much common in the social work, studying sociology, political science, anthropology, economics and public administration departments.
Prof. Zayeda Sharmin, head of political science department held the view that the semester exams system requires students to complete huge syllabus in short time and this essentially require a change in the exam system.
There should be priority to short questions in place of broad question, change in presentation, field work model etc.
Sabiha Sharmin, a post graduate students of anthropology said, "Though our reference books in Syllabus are written in English and sometimes teachers also refer us these books, but we read traditional hand notes because teachers do not treat students with higher marks for following original English text. She felt that there should be a rule for students to face exams in English medium from first year or later from third year. It may force students to switch to English medium.
Moreover teachers appear not friendly at the beginning of each semester in taking class and also at the end of semesters. They are inclined to take classes regularly before the semester's final exam. Teachers should be bound to take classes regularly without waiting for the final year or semester exams. Said a student of Forestry and Environmental Science department.
Head Prof. Dr. Md. Abdul Ghani of the Sociology department said, "During the appointment of teachers, university authorities should lay importance on the research qualification of the applicant and one should have at least two publications in international journals to qualify for the job."
Varsity VC Prof. Dr. Md. Saleh Uddin said, "In SUST medium of instruction is in English, when we ask to the teachers they say their teaching and exam process are going in English but the development of knowledge is not dependent on the medium of language.
The biggest caulty is coming from lack of teachers interest," he has observed. n
Art and Culture
Focus on Chittagong
Fashion & Beauty
Food and Drink
Law and Justice
New Nation Supplement
Editor: Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Adviser Editor: A.M. Mufazzal, Printed and Published by Mainul Hosein from the New Nation Printing Press, 1.R.K Mission Road, Dhaka-1203 Phones: New Nation PABX: 7122654, 7114514, 7122655, Fax: 880-2-7122650, 9512775 email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org for advertisement, email@example.com