Time to create ideal conditions
In Bangladesh, craze or euphoria works behind the mushrooming growth of anything that people see can generate money. There was a time when some coaching centres were started by teachers to help students prepare for admission into BUET, Dhaka Medical College and Dhaka University. Those coaching centres did well and soon grew into money spinning hubs. Seeing their success, hundreds of people also opened up coaching centres across the country. Possibly, the success of the early coaching centres prompted some businessmen to start private universities in rented houses. When the pioneer universities got good response from the guardians, others having little experience in teaching or running a university joined the bandwagon.
Starting since the mid 90s, there are nearly 100 private universities in the country. While the quantity has increased, question remains: Are they all imparting quality education?
To obtain temporary permission, a private university is required to have 25,000sqft of space. Nearly 50 such universities are located in Dhaka city. There are nearly a dozen conditions attached for securing permission to open a university. However, only eleven private universities were served with notice recently to shift their campus to permanent sites, or else they would face admission suspension. The deadline expired last December. These universities have sought extension of time, and Private University Association (PAU) meanwhile said: “Thousands of students are studying in these universities. If the measures like halting admission process are taken, there will be unrest.” They think the future of the students will be left in tatters if the admission process is halted.
This may be mentioned that most private universities do not provide ideal conditions to pursue educational activities. Sprawling space, walkways and benches under tree-shades will give an ideal look of campus of an educational institution. Separate buildings or single unit will house class rooms of different faculties. Inside the buildings there should be library, laboratory, canteens and facility of indoor games for the students. But in reality most of them lack the desired facilities.
On the other hand, some of the universities have already shifted to their own campuses which have sprawling fields and playgrounds just as a campus deserves to have. These universities also have a host of qualified teachers and offer international quality education. They are also encouraging their teachers to do research. These high standard private universities have the potential to become high quality educational institutes in the near future.