Despite its name, the Institute of Education and Research (IER) of Dhaka University has not conductedany major research in the education sector in the last six years.
It has carried out a few pieces of major research since its inception in 1960, teachers said. However, the last large-scale research work was conducted in 2006-07, limiting the possibilities of development in the sector.
Director of the institute, Professor Abul Ehsan blamed a lack of funds.
“We do not get any funds, neither from the university authority nor the government, for research purposes,” he said.
He said teachers of the institute are individually involved in research, but there is no major research activity under the supervision of the institute.
When the IER started, one of its objectives was to promote and to provide facilities for advanced study and research in education. It is the only institute of its kind under the public universities of Bangladesh, which offers teaching programmes leading to higher professional degrees. But,at present it is far from its original objective.
At present, under DFID funded English in Action programme, 10 MPhil students get Tk10,000 each to conduct research, which are more academic in nature.
Educationists think the overall research activities in Bangladesh are in very poor condition, as universities overlook one of their major tasks.Lack of research has keptBangladeshi universities out of the international ranking.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has long expressed its concerns over the situation. Former UGC chairman, Nazrul Islam thinks the purposes of universities are not served due to poor research activities.
“The institutes were created to conduct researche. There should be adequate researches in the universities,” he said.
According to UGC’s latest report, in 2011, 12 public and 11 private universities did not spend any money on research.