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PM: UGC, public varsities can take steps about evening courses

  • Published at 08:45 pm February 12th, 2020
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a parliament session on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 PID

Sheikh Hasina also criticizes the mentality that only English medium students are brilliant

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that that public universities and the University Grants Commission (UGC) themselves can take measures to address the evening course issue, and there is no need to enact any law regarding this.

Her remarks came in response to a supplementary question from Jatiya Party’s Kishoreganj 3 MP Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu in parliament on Wednesday, during the Leader of the House’s question-answer session.

The UGC in December last year had ordered the closure of such courses at all public universities around the country, citing that the courses tarnish the image and reputation of the universities.

In a letter, containing a 13-point directive, the UGC had asked the universities to properly follow the rules and regulations — just several days after President Md Abdul Hamid said commercially run evening courses were turning public universities into business institutions and disrupting the campus atmosphere.

Responding to Chunnu’s question, Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the public universities once struggled with session jam and for that reason the system of two shifts or evening courses was introduced, reports UNB.

She said many public university teachers showed more sincerity to take classes at the private universities than at their own institutions. “As a result, problems rose in their respective educational institutions. But they are being brought under control gradually.”

Regarding the evening courses, she said that the president has already talked about it and the government was taking appropriate measures.

“But there’s no need to enact new law for this,” she said, and added that the universities and the UGC can take steps in this regard.

The prime minister on Wednesday also criticized the mentality to consider only the English medium students as brilliant.

Responding to another supplementary question from BNP’s Chapainawabganj 3 MP Harun-ur Rashid Harun, she also said that she does not see any logic in keeping a quota for the English medium students at the public universities.

“From the question it appears that if anyone studies in English medium, only that student is brilliant, [but] those from Bangla medium aren’t.

“We come from Bangla medium, maybe we aren’t brilliant, but that doesn’t mean we’re the worst. We could have produced better results if we’d been given a little bit more scope to study,” she said.

‘Govt protecting women workers’

In reply to a query from Awami League’s reserved seat MP Aroma Dutta, Sheikh Hasina informed the House that around 467,000 Bangladeshi workers returned from different countries on various grounds since 2010.

After the government formed the “Female Workers Protection Cell” in December last year, she said, not a single female worker was subjected to harassment in the last one month due to more effective scrutiny.

A total of 7,365 female workers also went to different countries for employment in December last year under the direct supervision of the protection cell, she added.

‘Drives against drugs, militancy will continue’

Replying to another question from the ruling party’s Chittagong 4 MP Didarul Alam, the prime minister said that the government was taking actions against the smugglers, dealers and addicts of drugs that have become a social menace.

“We’re giving same importance to terrorism, militancy and drugs. As we’re conducting drives against these, we have been able to put it under control. The drive will continue,” she said.

She added that the government has taken steps to train the law enforcement agencies regarding this matter.

However, she said, when the government controls one kind of drug, another one emerges.

Responding to a question from Bangladesh Tarikat Federation’s Chittagong 2 MP Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary, Hasina said that militancy was a global problem.

“Because of a handful of people, the religion Islam comes under question,” she said, and urged all Alems and Ulamas and others to remain aware about the extremism in the name of Islam.

She also requested all not to hurt others’ religious sentiment.

Ensuring rural development

In reply to a question from Awami League’s Jessore 2 MP Nasir Uddin, the prime minister said Bangladesh was much advanced in the rural communication sector compared to the developed countries of the world.

While responding to another query from the ruling party’s Chittagong 11 MP M Abdul Latif, Hasina also said the government has taken initiative to prepare a master plan for all upazilas within next five years to ensure long-term planned development, including planned usage of lands.

She added that the government has taken plan to supply safe water through underground pipelines in every village around the country in phases.