Legal education in Bangladesh and the career plan of students: From dreams to reality
Dr Md Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan writes for DOT :
Every year several thousand law students complete their LLB(Hons.) or LLM degrees from different universities in Bangladesh. These students dream to become lawyers, judges, lecturers, bankers, government officials, or employees of a national or transnational company. Though some students reach their goals, others fail to fulfil their cherished dream for a variety of reasons including:
l Poor academic results, interpersonal skills and adaptabilities.
l Lack of quality education
1. Poor academic results, interpersonal skills and adaptabilities
Students should pay attention to their studies from the beginning of the academic year so that their results are satisfactory and meet the requirements for their professional entry. They should participate in both academic and cultural activities of the university and beyond. They should try their level best to be good human beings.
2. Lack of quality education
A quality education depends on (a) quality teachers, (b) quality professional development and (c) safe and supportive quality learning environments.
a. Quality teachers
A teacher should have good knowledge of the course they teach. They should share their love of the course with their students. They should make the material they are teaching stimulating. They should have the capacity to explain the subject in a lucid way. Unfortunately, many law teachers in Bangladesh are not comfortable with the courses they are teaching. For example, if a law teacher has an LLM degree in commercial law, they may be required to teach criminology or Roman law about which they have no interest or insufficient knowledge.
Furthermore, many universities in Bangladesh do not have an adequate number of full-time law teachers. Since most of the above universities charge a high tuition, students have the right to get quality education and universities should try to attract and retain good law teachers by providing good academic environment and financial benefits. A good combination of lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors and professors in a university is important so that a student can learn from different generations of teachers having expertise in their respective fields.
b. Quality professional development
Opportunities for teachers to access to quality professional development activities are crucial for enhancing the quality of teaching. Unfortunately, many universities do not provide this opportunity.
c. Safe and supportive quality learning environments
It is often alleged that teaching system in Bangladesh is one way; i.e., the teacher delivers a lecture and students listen to it. There is not much participation from the students’ side. This is alarming. This culture needs to be changed. Teachers should create an environment where students feel safe and relaxed in the classroom. They should be tolerant, unintimidating, respectful and friendly but not be friends with their students. Similarly, students are expected to respect and obey the instructions of their teachers and be responsible for their conduct in the classroom.
If the Ministry of Education, the University Grants Commission, the Bangladesh Bar Council and respective universities in Bangladesh take the above-mentioned issues seriously then the quality of legal education will be improved and it will help law students fulfil their dreams.
The writer is Academic Visitor, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. He can be reached at [email protected]