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Serious malpractice by university teachers

Published : 04 Sep 2019 09:12 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 06:53 PM

Serious negligence found in county’s education sector. Around 7000 teachers from public universities are not taking regular classes, tutorial, and many of them are over-staying abroad without the permission of the universities concerned. As many as 3000 teachers from public university are not taking classes as they remain engaged in other non-academic works, and take classes in private universities. As a result students are deprived of quality teaching. Many continue to stay abroad even after obtaining post-graduation or Ph.D degree, doing part time teaching or research work.

Of these teachers, 2,110 are on vacations, 84 are over staying abroad or in other establishments with liens, 58 are on unpaid leave, 17 are abroad after the end of leave, and 680 are employed on part-time or contract-based appointments. Besides, about 4000 teachers take classes at various private universities on a part time basis, for which they allegedly often neglect their main responsibility.

A total of 758 associate professors, 919 assistant professors and 1,450 lecturers are currently working in 105 private universities in the country.
This signals a sorry state of the higher education landscape, in which students remain the silent sufferers. It has been going on for decades but even after media reports on a number of occasions, the ministry of education took no positive steps.

According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), there are currently 45 government-run universities in the country. In these institutions, 2,940 teachers are enjoying at least 5 types of leave. In addition to full-time employment, many of them are employed in multiple part-time jobs.

Besides, many are busy working for various institutions, including NGO’s, business establishments, foreign consulting firms, public-private-level research bodies and share-trading. In this regard, UGC Chairman Dr. Kazi Shahidullah said, “In reality, the number is much higher. Most private universities believe in the doctrine of 'Hire and Fire’ while appointing teachers. They hire teachers from public universities.” He also urged private universities to hire full-time teachers.

“Due to multiple full-time and part-time jobs, they are unable to provide proper services. As a result, they are not getting enough time for personal study. At the same time, they are not teaching the students properly”, said former Dhaka University Professor Inamul Hasan. At present, taking classes at private universities has become the most lucrative matter because they can earn substantial amount from there. Most of the part-time teachers have been hired from various public universities, the UGC Chairman said.

In all, about 3,000 teachers from 37 public universities are not taking classes in their own institutes. Of late, universities have been established outside Dhaka, and the requirement of teachers in these institutions are being met from public universities. Commenting on this, Prof. of Dhaka University Mohammad Samad said, "In fact, it is unclear how many of our teachers are currently working part-time or full-time at other universities. We could not establish any monitoring system in this regard.”

However, there are provisions that a teacher can deliver part-time service at maximum two universities. In response to a question, he said, "To establish transparency, we need to abide by a combination of ethics and rules." In the hope of winning in various elections, the concerned administration exclusively supports this wrongdoing.

Most teachers do not even get permission from their respective universities. It was reported that a database of teachers of public universities working part-time at private universities was supposed to be made while taking up the Higher Education Improvement Project (HEIP) about a decade ago.

In this regard, Professor Kazi Shahidullah said, "I joined here a few months ago. So I don't know why the software wasn't created. But the initiative was good.” Higher education abroad is a known and established phenomenon, and the government is giving special allocation for this.

Teachers intending to study abroad can take up to 4 years of paid leave. If any degree or research is not completed within the stipulated time then another 2 years unpaid leave is granted. As the teachers can take up to 4 years of education leave as per the rules and the university pays all their salaries during this time, the teachers avail the opportunity of leave.