Academicians and policymakers on Saturday called for expansion of equitable access to quality education which will be responsive to the emerging needs of society toward realizing inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all.
"Rapid socioeconomic and societal transformations which forced nations to undergo various paradigm shifts, has positioned the people to reimaging teaching and learning, education assessment, the role of teachers, education financing, and even higher education management," said speakers.
They were addressing the 1st International Conference on Higher Education began in Dhaka on Staurday with the theme 'Envisioning the Future of Higher Education', organized by the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) in coordination with Michigan State University (MSU) and the Global Center for Innovation and Learning (GCFIL).
The two-day conference, convene secondary and tertiary educators, policymakers, teacher educators, education researchers and administrators, and international development partners.
Joining the conference virtually, Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni mentioned the goals of transforming higher education is to build a smart Bangladesh and developing smart citizens who can contribute to a smart economy.
The minister emphasized on an education system that is resilient, agile, and responsive to the emerging needs of society toward realizing inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all.
Echoing the Minister's speech, Professor Titus Awokuse, the Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Partnership of MSU's International Studies and Programs, said the expansion of equitable access to quality education is a must for sustainable development.
Bangladesh has made great strides in producing economic growth, reducing poverty, and boosting prosperity despite elevated uncertainties, he added.
DSHE Director of Planning and Development Prof. Dr. AQM Shafiul Azam said Rapid socioeconomic and societal transformations, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, have forced the nation to undergo various paradigm shifts.
"It has positioned us to reimagine teaching and learning, education assessment, the role of teachers, education financing, and even higher education management," he added.
Former Director General of DSHE Prof. Dr. Syed Md. Golam Faruk, in his keynote speech, said education system must include prioritizing improvements in the teacher-student ratio, quality teaching staff, and education-industry linkages.
"Quality teaching is at the center of education. Changes in teacher education as part of higher education are therefore crucial," said Dhaka University Professor M. Tariq Ahsan.
Professor Lynn Paine, MSU College of Education, said quality teaching must be about new approaches to empower learners to face new challenges and unpredictable futures.