POST TIME: 10 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
The availability of technical universities and the scarcity of human values
We all know, fundamentally, the main tasks of a university are three- distribution of knowledge, gathering of knowledge and creation of knowledge
Nazrul Islam

The availability of technical universities and the scarcity of human values

Whether the number of technical universities in the country is going to be higher than the general universities- we may give different opinions in response to this question. But, whether the human values are becoming rare- probably, in response to this question, everyone will answer negative. The word ‘values’ comes because of some recent incidents, as for we can assume that there is a lack of human values within us.

Recently, this is also realized by the government that we need to be educated but, before that, we need to have values and humanity. On July 6, while talking to journalists at the circuit house in Chandpur, Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni laid emphasis on developing values of students alongside imparting quality education to make them good human being.

The number of government universities in our country is forty-one. All these universities, run as autonomous institutions, are financed by the government. Of these fourteen universities are general only; rest are science and technology based. In addition, there are three specialized, four medical and one maritime university we have. It is noteworthy that, in our country, there are more number of technical and specialized universities than the general.

Meanwhile, on February 12, State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumdar announced that an industrial university, first of its kind in the country, will be established under the Ministry of Industries. State minister announced this while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a fair at Monipur High School and College at Mirpur in Dhaka.

The state minister said, ‘efficient human resources are essential for development of the nation. This university will be established under his ministry to meet the need of skilled and trained manpower in future.’ Significant that, there is a competition has been started in the country to establish universities; especially technical universities. Wherever our Prime Minister goes, it’s become common phenomenon that a demand for establishing a technical university is raised.

The Awami League government has ruling the country since December 9, 2008, after winning of the ninth, tenth and eleventh national parliamentary elections recurrently. In this period, along with many other achievements, we got eighteen new universities and fourteen of them are technical. The initiative of establishing the universities must be worthy of appreciation, but it looks that we are more concerned on establishing technical university than general.

On August 13 in 2018, the Ministry of Education announced that the government is going to approve three new universities. These universities will be set up in three different districts of the country. They are Bogura University of Science and Technology, Chandpur University of Science and Technology and Laxmipur University of Science and Technology. Apparently, a competition has been initiated among the different regions of the country to have universities.

We all know, fundamentally, the main task of a university is three- distribution of knowledge, gathering of knowledge and creating of knowledge. While establishing the universities of science and technology in different regions, we must think that there have enough resources in that university to do these three tasks appropriately. If the quality decreases to increase the number, it will only benefit the particular group, not the country.

On June 25, in a national newspaper, a former president of the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh wrote, ‘today, the ministry of industries has thought of industrial universities to meet the needs of skilled and trained human resources. In continuation of this, Transport University, Railway University, Tourism University, Law University, Food University, Public Administration University, Cultural University- each ministry will be interested to establish university to meet their needs.’

On June 26, a young man was hacked to death in broad daylight in front of Barguna Government College in Barguna. During this incident his wife tried hard to save her husband. This time nobody stood ahead to save the life of this man. Everybody were busy in capturing pictures and videos of the incident! So, it seems that before becoming educated, we need to have values and humanity first.

The honorable High Court expressed grave shock over the brutal killing in Barguna. HC said, ‘it is very shocking that nobody came forward to protect the man when he was being attacked, although many people videoed the incident. This is the picture of social degradation.’ So, some may feel that it is very necessary to establish a new university to make our next generation responsible and humanitarian.

As an autonomous institution, every university is administrate by the  University Act. In this act, a special power and authority has been given to the Vice-chancellor. By applying this power and authority, the university can open new faculties, departments, institutes, centers or courses, appoint manpower and enroll students as well.

We can remember, on September 6 in 2016, the University Grants Commission was bound to publish a public-announcement of alerting six universities for opening new departments without approval. It was seen that the ‘University of Humanity’ was approved, but after some time the university was teaching different subjects like Business Administration, CSC, EEE, Nautical Engineering, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Aviation Science & Engineering, International Relations etc.

In 1977, organized by OIC, a conference of the muslim world was held in Mecca. There was a proposal to establish islamic universities in different muslim countries. Based on this proposal, in 1979, Islamic University was established in Kushtia. But now, the different subjects under the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Faculty of Biological Sciences and Faculty of Business Administration are teaching here.

We have an innate habit of over-riding and competing everywhere. It is necessary to examine how many doctors, researchers, engineers, agriculturists, nurses, technicians’ etc. are need for the country and overseas countries, i.e., Human Resources Plan. Whatever we think, the values and humanity cannot be taught by establishing new university. We expect that our present universities will teach the human values to our next generation to keep us safe.

The writer is a MPhil researcher at the School of Education of Bangladesh Open University. He can be reached at [email protected]