Research is an inevitable part for any development. It helps to root out many challenges people face in their life.
It is obvious that our existence from the cave dwelling to the civilized world, the long way we have come across using our research and experiments. Research makes the impossible possible and shows the path to move smoothly. Research findings help the planners and experts to take important decision in the country.
In most developed countries, even some developing ones conducting research has been one of the vital issues. They spend billions of dollars to ensure quality research to develop human resources. Not only that, they are found to be stuck to maintaining the research principles and any person deviating these principles may face not only academic degradation but also imprisonment for a certain time.
In Bangladesh it is evident that education has been accessible widely. We see that the number of educational institutes have increased many times. At present even the students of poor financial background can afford to access to the main stream of education as education is heavily subsidized by the government. But growing research culture amid the learners has not been mentionable over the years.
Obviously, none will deny the statement that education is the backbone of a nation. Can we imagine a strong backbone without quality education and research? Actually standard research is the gateway to ensure sustainable education for a country. Most of the students at tertiary level of education hardly have any involvement in research education. They focus on obtaining their grades memorizing teachers’ lectures along with some recommended books and papers. In these days at undergraduate and graduate level, students are asked by their course teachers to submit term papers or dissertations at the end of their courses. Such practices hardly make the learners intrinsic to be a researcher.
It is unfortunate that in our country conducting research is optional even for the teaching staff who have enormous responsibilities to make the future generation research-centric. At primary, secondary and higher secondary level of education teaching staff hardly get involved in research activities to improve their teaching strategies. But in many countries the involvement in research is the foremost qualification to be a teacher at any level of education.
Even at the tertiary level of education conducting research and having research articles is not mandatory to be selected as a lecturer at any university. Academic result along with theory-based performance is given the priority through the selection procedures. It is really astonishing when we see that our education system exposes that MPhil and PhD degrees are optional qualification.
When the time has come to emphasize on research and innovations, considering these degrees optional is really frustrating for a nation. In most countries except some Asian territories, having PhD degree is a must to be a teacher at any university.
In our country, in most cases lecturers at public universities within a few years of their job take academic leave and go for pursuing MPhil and PhD. It takes a huge academic loss for the students but if PhD would be a mandatory for being a teacher, this loss would not happen for the country. Another thing is that, theoretical knowledge is not enough to teach student at the tertiary level where knowledge creation is the prime issue. Again it is regretting that every year many meritorious students go abroad for pursuing PhD but they hardly back to their land causing a heavy loss for the country.
It is true that over the years the number of MPhil and PhD holders have increased manifolds. Apart from teaching professionals, government employees, lawyers and many officials are pursuing PhD. In most cases they see this degree to get promotion or write the ‘Dr.’ initial before their name. Their degrees hardly contribute to developing our nation. But the nation desires much from the individuals who have obtained the highest degree.
It is universally acknowledged that research creates new knowledge. It is conducted to address the existing research gap and to create new innovations levelling up the gap. Unfortunately, what will we do with the huge degree holders if their researches are conducted in the deceptive way which fails to address the desirous outcome? Can the reviewers and research supervisors deny their responsibilities in this regards? Obviously they have little scopes to do so. Again, how far the researchers can contribute to the country and nation when their scholarly contributions correspond to the exaggeration devoid of research ethics?
Regrettably, we speak of ethics in research but we seldom follow the ethical norms thoroughly while conducting studies. However, we cannot blindly claim that all researchers are supposed to breaking the research ethics as the genuine scholarly contributions of many act as great achievements for bringing better world. Contrarily, fake studies mislead the society.
However, our country is going to be a developed one by 2041. Can we find any alternative to developing research culture amid people? Obviously, we hardly have any options to this issue. Again, it is imperative to produce quality human resources through innovations which we can only confirm getting involved in research activities that will contribute to boosting the country. In this concern there is hardly any alternative to increasing up research fund in the country.
The writer teaches at Prime University. He is also research scholar at the IBS. Email: [email protected]