Corruption is rampant in the recruitment process of lecturers in the country's public universities, according to a qualitative study conducted by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).
The corruption is so deep-rooted that it starts while the aspiring teachers are still students, the study has found.
Findings of the study, titled “Recruitment of lecturers in public university: Governance challenges and ways forward,” was revealed during a press conference at the Midas Centre in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on Sunday afternoon.
The study, conducted in 13 public universities from January to December this year, has found that lecturers are paying an obscene amount of money to get recruited in public universities.
The bribes range from Tk3 lakh to Tk20 lakh, says the study report.
A group consisting of vice-chancellors, officers and employees in the vice-chancellors and registrars offices, teacher leaders, student leaders, influential leaders in the ruling party and even a section of lawmakers are directly involved in this illegal practice.
The situation is more severe in the comparatively newer universities, the report says.
The study also found instances where teachers have engineered academic results of students favoured by them so they would later be recruited as lecturers.
Without paying heed to the need for accountability, public universities, who enjoy autonomy, have created scope for recruiting comparatively less meritorious candidates by depriving the meritorious ones through framing recruitment rules and regulations according to their will, and by forming recruitment boards that serve their own purposes, the report says in overall observation.
Addressing the event, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said the overall situation was frustrating and worrisome.
However, some universities have good examples of properly recruiting teachers, he added.
TIB Trustee and Dhaka University professor Syed Manzoorul Islam said: “What is happening is real. There is no way to neglect it… I know many good teachers who have left the country because they had no options left due to this situation.”
The TIB officials recommended comprehensive policies to bring changes in the recruitment process.
“If the authorities concerned are interested in specific information, we will provide it to them,” Iftekhar said.
TIB officials Rezaul Karim and Dipu Roy read out the study report at the press conference, where TIB Deputy Executive Director Prof Sumaiya Khair and Research and Policy Director Mohammad Rafiqul Islam were present as well, among others.