Is the number of educational institutions enough or fewer?
Dr Mamtazuddin Patwary, Professor of History, BOU : It will be a great mistake if we comment on or calculate the number of educational institutions, teachers and students based on BANBEIS’ estimate. BANBEIS only provides information of government-approved institutions. Getting any information outside of this is merely based on approximation. It is a terrifying phenomenon that signboards of countless illegal educational institutions hang in buildings in the city. I don’t know if anyone is there to supervise such things in the villages. Whoever is building these institutions, it is a wonder whether they actually possess any knowledge about the education sector. If a homeowner wants to profit by opening a primary, secondary or higher secondary educational institute, they will face no obstacles, no one will stop them. From the outside, it looks as if a bunch of children are hollering about inside a house, like some sort of prisons or a chicken farm. Even in the countryside, institutions bearing the name ‘Oxford’ or ‘Cambrige’ are being erected. How can we verify the number of teachers-students of such institutes?
At the end or beginning of the year, near December or January, children are ‘hunted’ as teachers lobby from one house to another, luring parents. Those with sufficient wealth usually send off their children to such institutions, while poor parents send their wards to madrasas. Most government primary schools now lack an acceptable number of students. Obviously, the teachers there are responsible. No doubt, this is the case. MPO-listed madrasas and secondary schools also suffer the same fate.
Although the capital city is full of signboards of educational institutions, the number of students, on the other hand, is very lacking. Many MPO-listed colleges are not being run the way they were used to; there, the word ‘education’ does not mean the same thing as elsewhere. Everywhere, there is a rush to get ‘good results’, but there is the lack of hunger for knowledge.
Translated by Abrar Hussain