More on public private university debate
A.A.M. Mostofa Saikh Chowdhury
I want to thank Mr. Mahbub Hossain Srabon for writing an article in reply to my previous article. But at the same time I'm sorry to say that I don't want to clear my misconception from you. First of all you wrote that my article was informative. You should understand that the information given proves that I don't have any misconception over this issue.
Let's start with your first point. You should know that my article was in reply to a previous article which said that in private universities we don't have any competition in the admission test. I wrote to clear the wrong idea emphasising that in private universities there is competition for admission. If you want to compare the figure with HSC passed students then you will be wrong. The socio-economic condition of Bangladesh is not so good that they all will want to go to private university. Because, in private universities students need to pay tuition fees whereas it is the government that pays the fees of public university students. Yes it's true that all private university admission tests are not competitive but I wrote that they needed time to improve further. As the pioneers are doing now, in the future the rest will do it even faster.
The next issue is M. phil and Ph.D degree. I'll suggest you to talk with the University Grants Commission to know more about this issue. Because currently there is a ban on issuing M. phil and Ph.D degree from private universities. If they withdraw this ban obviously private universities will try to work in this regard. I wrote in my previous article that our university is doing a lot of research works at the moment. But I don't think that our public universities are fully capable of doing this type of work. I never saw the name of our famous public universities in the worlds popular journals subscribers list. I found out that their syllabus is not even updated. I am really confused about this.
I sometimes visit some of our public universities to see my cousins and friends. I always find them unhappy with session jam, political chaos, teacher crisis (as they are involved in other works), classroom problems and lot of other things.
I remember those investigative articles of Prothom Alo, which says some teachers of one of our popular universities are involved in different kinds of unlawful activities. Some of them said the teachers took loans from teachers fund but didn't give it back. Then there are allegations that teachers took study vacation but didn't come back. The latest one is that they gave 1st class marks to 54 students! It's in the media.
You wrote about fresh graduates. You asked me whether I'm able to ask your question or not. Yes I'm able to answer this question. The reality is even getting a first class in under-graduation and masters course from any of our public universities does not qualify one to be good teacher. As I wrote before, when getting a first class comes under question, how can one become a good teacher?
I don't know the difference between professional and non professional courses. I hope you will clear it in the next issue but it's true that most of our private universities are offering courses which are valuable and popular among the students. But old private universities like my university is offering Environmental Studies, Bio Chemistry, Microbiology ,Development Studies and different other subjects. As private universities don't get financial help from the government they need money to run the university. In my university we take these subjects as general courses, like History, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Chemistry, Criminology, Gender Issues etc. Sometimes some public university students question the system of part time faculties. Actually part time faculties take classes of these courses as they are not our core courses.
You wrote about the salary structure. As far as I know, there is no major gap in salary structure of IBA and NSU graduates. Well I can't say about all but I can assure you that it's not happening with these pioneer business school graduates. You wrote about IBA that it is run by Dhaka University. Actually it was founded by Ford Foundation in the early 60's.They have a separate board of directors to run the institute. And the Vice Chancellor of the university of Dhaka is one of the members. As a student of IER you should know that IBA is not like other institutes of DU. In western universities institutes always run separately from the original intuition and only IBA of Dhaka university is following this system.
Why private universities will follow public universities of Bangladesh? Can you give one reason? While my university is following North American education system why they will follow the education system which only can create session jam and corruption everywhere. Our public universities are now following North American system (Credit, semester, CG PA etc) as the private universities are getting good results from those. Our private universities will lead our education system within the next 15 years. That's not my personal belief but that's the reality. Wait and see the next 15 years and you will see that most people will take their sons and daughters to a private university and not to a public university.
Mr. Mahbub, I think you will read this article carefully and criticize the Private universities logically. Hope to see your reply in the next Star Campus issue. Thanks a lot.
(BBA Program, North South University)