A dark picture has revealed teacher training colleges when a survey was conducted by the ministry of education. The ministry of education found that 89 private TT Colleges and 6 private universities out of a total of 100 such institutions are unfit to offer training courses, especially for B. Ed. and M.Ed. So, it was found that almost all private teachers training colleges are incompetent and allegedly engaged in selling certificates. Government has yet to take any action against these institutions which has contributed a great deal to the deterioration of teacher training. When teacher training stands on this weak and fragile base, the standard of education throughout the country is bound to see an abject stage. “Quality teachers are needed for ensuring quality education in the country. But how can we expect quality teachers when anyone can easily get certificates with good results from private TT Colleges or universities even without attending classes, doing assignment and receiving practical training.”—professor Taslima Begum, Dhaka TT College principal commented. A committee led by Education Joint Secretary Shafiullah investigated the activities of TT Colleges from May 2006 to March 2007 and found a lot of irregularities.
Most of the time private TT Colleges remain closed, the rooms are dark dusty and most of the prices of furniture are broken. The need for huge number of trained teachers and the weak monitoring and establishing policy of National University have made the scope to sprung up these private TT colleges in every nook and corner of the country. No measure to ensure quality has further given it scope to run the classes in rented houses in market place or commercial buildings which have absolutely failed to cater to the needs of the time. “The trainers of the government Teacher Training Colleges need to write and submit 28 assignments during their training whereas, the private TT Colleges don’t maintain any such criteria. Their teachers collect the assignments from nearest government Teachers Training Colleges and give those to their trainees who just copy and submit those to their authorities” One teacher of. Dhaka TT College said. This is because private TT Colleges need only students, quality is a matter of second or third importance to them. If their number of students stands less, their income will shrink. So, they hardly give pressure to the learners. The easier ways to get certificates ensures admission of more teachers.
The committee divided the colleges into four categories such as yellow, green, red and grey.Red indicates the worst performing and worst situaion, grey poor condition, yellow medium quality and green well performing TT Colleges. Seven colleges have been marked red, 33 yellow, 5 private and 14 public colleges earned green. The Committee recommended that the National University should cancel the red-marked institutions,-colleges of Education at Jahlakathi, Patuakhali Teachers Training College, Dakkhinbanga Teachers Training College, Patuakhali DakkhanTeachers Training College in Moukaran in Patuakhaki, College of Education , Barisal, Pirojpur Teachers Training College and College of Education , Comilla. Six private universities also provide B.Ed. degree and their quality is extremely low .
Eastern university, Shanta Mariam University, Asian University, World University, Northern University and Uttara University. Education Ministry issued an order in September 2007 stating that outer campuses of the private university cannot offer B.Ed degree but none is paying any heed. The existing teacher training colleges cannot afford to hold the increasing number of students. Hence, the private sector colleges have sprung up hither and thither sprawling from the city of the Dhaka to the small towns of the country. These institutions have taken permission from the National University. Now they get the threat of closure.
The emergence of private universities in our educational arena responds to the needs of the time actually. The limited seats of public universities in comparison to the increasing number of students of the country, unavoidable session jam, lengthy academic year and above all serious political turmoil in the campus led the authorities concerned and the government to give rise to private universities. Every opportunity has its loopholes and taking this advantage many private universities have mushroomed hither and thither of the country seriously undermining the standard of higher education. The situation also casts a slur on the spur and reputation of already established private universities.
A roundtable discussion on corruption in the public universities ordained by Transparency International Bangladesh on February 8, 2007 in Dhaka, attracted wide public attention and added a new dimension to the critical observations on the state of affairs in the public universities. The TIB roundtable specially focused on corruption perpetrated in our public universities, most of the issues on the problem of efficient management of these institutions came up for discussion.
Mismanagement, abuse of autonomy given to major public universities under the 1973 university ordinance, corruption and of course, teachers’ and student’s politics are posing threat to quality higher education. One of the reasons for the mushrooming of private universities in the country is not only the incapability of the public universities to develop and expand, but also the further deterioration. However, with few exceptions, the growth of private universities has not been very healthy and is yet to become a viable alternative to public universities.
M. Mozammel Haq, president of Private Teachers Training College Teachers Association denied the allegations and said selling certificates in these institutions is not true. “The government should not create any discrimination between public and private TT Colleges. Teachers of government TT colleges receive modern training regularly and even go abroad but we don’t get such opportunities .We request the government to provide special training for us to improve our quality.” This is true. Government alone cannot afford to train a huge number of teachers within a particular period of time. The help and cooperation of private TT colleges is a must to bring all the teachers under training programme. Without training, no teacher can conduct effective and fruitful classes with some possible exceptions. Yes, private TT colleges don’t have infra-structure and their training is of very poor quality. Still the trainees get some messages which they can disseminate in their teaching. Again, through private TT colleges teachers can receive their training near their working area and homes. Leaving home our rural teachers hardly can afford receiving training at a government TT College which lie far away from their residences. They are to follow many rules and regulations there but in a private TT college they don’t have to undergo such hard and fast rule. In spite of this pragmatic fact, the quality cannot be compromised in the greater interest of education and nation. So, some particular criteria to be set which will be followed by all the Private TT Colleges mandatory but things should be taken into consideration that they cannot satisfy the same conditions just as public TT Colleges. Some more government facilities are to be extended to the private TT Colleges. Special training opportunities must be made for the teachers of these institutions relaxing some conditions. It is a true fact that only government cannot afford to provide training to all the teachers’ within a stipulated time. The extension of helping hands from non-government and private sectors proves as a viable necessity to respond to the emerging situation.
Senior Manager, Brac Education Programme, PACE, BRAC. Email: [email protected]