POST TIME: 14 November, 2017 12:54:11 AM
Honours degree not enough: UGC

Honours degree not enough: UGC

The National Education Policy 2010 says an honours degree is not enough for teaching positions in institutions of higher education, but some engineering universities, including the Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET), are recruiting teachers who only have honours degrees. The authorities of such engineering universities are recruiting teachers having the four-year honours degree plus other qualifications.

They argue in favour of the practice, saying that the country will lose some of the brightest students in teaching professions because qualified students do not want to stay here after graduating with honours and eventually go abroad to pursue higher studies. However, the vice-chancellors of some engineering universities say that the topic is being discussed and the minimum requirement for a teacher should be a master’s degree.

Meanwhile, the University Grants Commission (UGC) on November 5 uploaded a letter on its own website to remind the BUET to follow and execute the National Education Policy 2010 in recruiting teachers, which does not have the provision for such recruitments.

For recruiting teachers in engineering universities, the UGC strongly recommends Strategy 5 of the National Education Policy, which says the “four-year honours degree will be considered as the terminal degree and acceptable/required qualification for jobs in all sectors except teaching positions at higher education institutions”.

The UGC had issued the same letter last year, reminding Dhaka University and BUET to follow the policy.

UGC chairman Prof. Abdul Mannan told The Independent that a master’s degree is required for recruiting teachers for lecturers’ posts. The National Education Policy 2010 rightly states that those without such degrees are ineligible for teaching positions at higher educational institutions, he said.

“The four-year honours degree is considered a terminal degree. This degree is an acceptable qualification for jobs in all other sectors except teaching positions. We hope that the universities would follow the National Education Policy 2010. Everyone has to abide by the law formulated by the government,” he added.

Sources say that the question of recruiting teachers having the four-year honours degree has resurfaced after the UGC found that the guideline in this regard is not being followed by many engineering universities. Therefore, it has again uploaded the letter after one year of the initial instruction, the sources add.

BUET registrar (additional charge) Prof. Md Saidur Rahman said students having four-year honours BSc (engineering) degree can apply for the post of a lecturer in their institute. “Students who secure the first or second positions in honours courses get the priority to apply for a lecturer’s post. The engineering department follows a different way for the recruitment of teachers because most students of this stream go abroad to pursue higher studies after completion of their honours courses,” he explained.

“If we don’t take bright students soon enough, we'll lose them. When we recruit these bright students as lecturers after the four-year honours degree, they go abroad for higher studies and many of them come back to teach in the country. It’s also true that many of them don’t come back,” he said. Asked about following the UGC instruction, Saidur Rahman said: “The UGC has not made it compulsory. The rule must be relaxed for the BUET. If we follow the instruction, the BUET will face a crisis of having the best teachers.”

DU vice-chancellor Prof. Md Akhtaruzzaman said: “One can't teach at higher education institutions without a master’s degree and other qualifications. Students having the four-year honours degree cannot apply for teaching positions here. A case occurred last year in the applied chemistry department, but there is no chance of that happening now.”

The vice-chancellor of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Mohammad Alamgir, told The Independent: “Right now, teachers are being recruited here after having the four-year honours degree with some other qualifications. But I think that teachers having only the honours degree should not be recruited."