Many teachers ignore primary roles as mentors, Hamid says at DU convocation

The chancellor stressed talent and qualifications as the main parameters for recruitment to the university

Dhaka University
Published : 19 Nov 2022, 12:26 PM
Updated : 19 Nov 2022, 12:26 PM

President Md Abdul Hamid says many university teachers have prioritised financial gains over their primary roles as mentors to students.

These teachers focused more on “evening courses and classes at private universities” over regular lessons on the campus, Hamid said at the 53rd convocation of Dhaka University on Saturday.

“It is unbefitting of the university environment and student-teacher relationship,” said Hamid, the chancellor of DU.

“University teachers were all students with the best achievements. I believe you [teachers] would’ve all been successful in any field. But you chose to devote your lives to the teaching profession. So everyone expects you to stay sincere in your duties as a teacher.”

As many as 30,348 graduates and researchers, including those from affiliate public colleges, took part in the convocation which was held after a three-year delay due to the pandemic.

Graduates of Dhaka University and constituent colleges and institutes participated in the programme in person on the campus’s central field while affiliate college students attended it virtually from Dhaka College and Eden Mohila College.

Hamid said the vice-chancellor and teachers symbolise 'leadership' and that he still felt the utmost respect for the individuals of his time, years after graduating from the university.

“But the actions of some of the vice-chancellors and teachers have compromised the dignity of teachers in society. With complete respect and faith in you, I ask you to watch out so that the actions of a few corrupt people do not taint the honour of all teachers.”

Hamid pointed out that the chief task of a vice-chancellor is “supervising, directing, evaluating and developing” the administrative and academic activities of the university. But their roles were now muddled with allegations of recruitment favouritism and focus on financial and administrative benefits.

“We want the vice-chancellor, with assistance from students and teachers, to establish the university as the lifeblood of research and higher studies -- as a centre of excellence. And for that, transparency and accountability must be ensured here for every action. Talent and qualifications must come first for recruitment.”

Hamid lamented how research activities have taken a backseat at a time when lives are powered by technology.

“Dhaka University was once extolled as the Oxford of the East. But the glory is diminishing with time despite multiplying the development of facilities and physical infrastructures, even if it’s insufficient.”

“We need to evaluate how much the quality of education, research areas, quantities and standard have improved or declined. At times, news reports on the status of university research make me embarrassed as the chancellor.”

Addressing the graduates, Hamid said: “You must not restrict your education to the convocation and certificates. Hold in your heart the contribution of sacrifices your parents, teachers and the state made for this and always keep yourselves engaged in the welfare of the people and the country.”

French economist Jean Tirole was awarded the Doctor of Laws at the event, while 131 illustrious teachers, students and researchers were honoured with gold medals, 97 with PhD degrees, two with DBA degrees and 35 with MPhil degrees.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher