Student politics should aim to restore learning atmosphere

2021-10-07, 1:19pm Editorials

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Dhaka University students started returning to dormitories that opened on October 5 after 1.5 years

Student politics in Bangladesh is historically of great significance because students rose at times of crises both before and after the birth of the country, but of late it’s hardly serving the interests of the students or working for the improvement of quality of learning in the educational institutions.

Leaders of student organisations serve the political parties they are affiliated to and aspire to become national political figures. Lone exceptions so far are those of the Chhatra Odhikar Parishad led by Nurul Huq Nur who grew through the successful mass student movement against quota in government jobs in 2018. Public universities are the main bases of student-politics in Bangladesh. They go through confrontation with rival students bodies with the pro-government student organisations dominating campuses. Nearly one million students study in 54 public universities and 97 private universities in the country, according to available information.

It is gathered that the leaders of the Chhatra Odhikar Parishad are also looking forward to be in national politics by floating their own political party. There is nothing harm in it. But a key question is have they launched movement to bring the educational institution to the right track by making teachers and administrations accountable.

Most teachers of public universities are attracting criticism for turning into party activists by neglecting their prime responsibility of teaching the students. Instead of concentrating on improvement of the quality of education at their own institutions, a section of public university teachers take classes at private universities for money or pass time running after political leaders.

Such teachers hardly do research to create new knowledge. They don’t guide their students to pursue knowledge and remain preoccupied with politics to get promotions and lucrative postings with political blessings. The result is continuous fall in education standard so much so that none of our universities get a place among those which are ranked among the first 1000 universities in the world.

So the first responsibility of the student leaders should be to clean their own educational institutions to restore congenial academic atmosphere in campuses.