From the Editor-in-Chief: The need for enlightened education

Enayetullah Khan
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
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There is reason to believe that all is not well at the higher educational institutions of the country. In recent weeks and months, we have come across reports of violence in Mymensingh, Savar and Dhaka, apart from other places in the country, which testify to the growth of a culture of violence among students that cannot but damage education in the long run. It is not that a vast majority or even a simple majority of students have been involved in the violence. It is simply that when a handful of young people decide to take the law into their hands, on whatever grounds or pretext, matters get out of control. Therein lies our reason for worry. And the worry takes on added meaning when we note that not even medical colleges, where we expect the young to prepare themselves for fruitful careers as doctors and therefore as men and women dedicated to the principle of helping humanity in distress, are free of violence.


It is a condition which must change for the better. At a time when the goals of the government, indeed of society as a whole, remain a reaching of ever higher levels of progress and coming level with the rest of the world, it makes sense to argue that our education system, right from school to college to university, be put in order. Of late, we have come across a plenitude of arguments on how positive or otherwise our examination system, in schools and colleges, has turned into. Those who have been supportive of the GPA system have naturally extolled its merits. On the other hand, it will not do to ignore the criticism made by the detractors of the system, for they point to the various flaws they believe is leaving certificates in the hands of the young without actually having them educated in line with global standards.


At the university level, the State will need much will and skill in ensuring that education in the proper sense of the meaning is restored and that all the intellectual inputs necessary for the young of our country to compete with their counterparts around the world are provided to them. Our people have traditionally been regarded as intelligent and competent enough, a reputation which has endured so long. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, our university students were standard bearers of national causes, certainly in relation to the needs of the times. It is that legacy which now needs to be revived, in the new times we inhabit and the future we envisage for ourselves and for the generations to come. The ideals of political liberalism and secular democracy are lessons we need to impart to the young, for in that teaching is embedded the message of patriotism.


Let our young redefine the future, through looking back at the glorious past of those who walked the corridors of our higher educational institutions before them.

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