The University Grand Commission (UGC) has submitted its 46th Annual Report revealing a shocking scenario that most of our universities, both public and private, have been running without focusing on research though they are supposed to allocate a significant amount of their annual budget for conducting research. Universities have been spending a little for the vital objective of generating knowledge and thus creating barriers to achieving high-order cognitive ability.
Tertiary education is not just about enhancing one’s career prospects; rather a university should broaden students’ minds and horizon of thoughts, allowing them to discern connections and analyse problems successfully. It is widely acknowledged that university education has two pronged approaches: search for knowledge to develop the highest degree of creative thoughts, and to contribute to the solution of concrete needs of society and the world. And research activities play the most vital role in achieving that objective.High-quality research is expected to produce knowledge but our tertiary educational institutions are unfortunately reluctant to provide the students with that opportunity, which is also pulling our country down that is evident in the recently published Global Knowledge Index 2020 where Bangladesh is ranked 112th out of 138 countries.
During our Liberation War, the Pakistani army and their collaborators killed our brightest and most enlightened persons to cause lasting damage to the intellectual faculty of next generations. Since then, we have made significant development in many aspects, particularly in socio-economic conditions, but we are still fighting to secure a respectful position in the world of knowledge and innovation. Our universities and their teachers have, knowingly or unknowingly, been contributing to this failure year after year.
We, therefore, should make a conscious policy and take proper steps to this end. In this regard, the UGC should be stricter in playing their role to compel university authorities to improve education quality by making enough budgetary allocation for research and generating knowledge. Moreover, the government should invest more in the education sector to inspire research activities and generating knowledge. We are developing infrastructure with our fund proving our ability and determination. Now we have to enhance our intellectual faculty to be a developed nation as it will be difficult to go far ahead depending on knowledge from others.