Using university libraries for BCS preparation

Masum Billah |

A scene of public universities in general and DU in particular superficially offers a very positive sign that the students gather in the university library very early in the morning and stand in long queue to get into the library. This is happening in a time when students have diverted their attention to student politics almost giving farewell to visiting university libraries and engaging themselves in studies deeply. Necessarily it seems that very dedicated and the lovers of knowledge throng to the library to gather knowledge. When we learn that they enter the library hurriedly and after much waiting just to read BCS guide than our very positive thoughts evaporate. They go to the library not to gather knowledge of basic subjects or for research work or for any creative work or any kind of analysis. They just memorize the information of national and international aspects to face the BCS examination.  It however, gives another indication that the students don’t get any opportunity to read in their respective dormitories that have been vitiated by the so-called student politics and the authorities don’t have any headache for that or they are quite helpless to this situation. The end question is can we blame the students for taking BCS preparation or is it illegal to use university library as the centre of BCS preparation? The answer will be ‘No’, they cannot be held responsible for that.

When we studied Masters in Jahangirnagar University, our senior brother Munirus Saleheen Tipu , just one year senior to us suddenly became our teacher. During that period (nineteen eighties) it was not easy to obtain first class in English Honours and Master’s that he managed. As we used to live in the same hall and adjacent room, we were hesitant to suddenly address him as ‘ sir’. Anyway, in the classroom we addressed him `sir’ and outside the classroom ‘bhai’as usual. Now he is the Secretary in the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare & Overseas Employment. He left the job as soon as we left the university for public service. Not only he many other such examples are available that the bright candidates leave university for public service. That is not their fault. If we could have   ensured suitable atmosphere for them, they would not have left this world of knowledge for becoming high level clerk. The universities need them more than public service. The bureaucrats have hardly any scope to utilize their innovation as they are to implement the directions and decisions of the public representatives. In this sense, brighter candidates must be placed in the most creative sectors, in university teaching, in real research fields, if we really want development of the society. We have miserably failed to do it. The brighter candidates have to satisfy the mastans, student cadres and get involved in politics leaving the ways of study and research. As a result, they don’t feel any warmness to be in the university. The social perception, status and facilities of public servants allure most brighter candidates to embrace government job, and mostly administration cadre.  

Till today the BCS examination shows no such smartness to assess the real creativity, analytical ability and innovation skills of the candidates. They have to prove how much information they can memorize such as which country obtained freedom in which year? The students study the subjects for honours or master’s level don’t find any place in the BCS examination except education cadre. As a result, they show negligence towards studying their own basic subjects in the graduation or in master’s level. To assess their creativity, innovative ability and analytical skills questions for BCS examination could have been set from their respective subjects. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. So, students have resorted to submerging themselves in memorizing BCS guides leaving their basic subjects.

If 50-60 percent marks would have been set from the subjects the students’ study in their graduation and master’s level for the BCS examination keeping the scope to prove their creativity and analytical skills, they would give serious importance to their basic subjects, not doubt. We cannot afford to make their basic subjects useless and meaningless highlighting the memorizing capacity of the candidates to become civil servant. Yes, it is true that the subjects of Science and Commerce will carry higher marks than other subjects. Developing questions and awarding marks would be done following a standard that minimizes the difference of marks. Moreover, 50 percent marks beyond their own discipline will also help balance the marks and group differences.

If subjects would have been taught keeping pace with the current global, political, environmental and artificial intelligence situation, university students would get interest. We need it.  We need more and more creative people. We need agriculturists, engineers, doctors, teachers, researchers and many more technical people. However, we are producing engineers and doctors who are also opting for BCS administration which hardly offers scope to utilize their creativity and exclusively disciplinary knowledge. We have another smarter group who don’t bother about entering any higher educational institutions. They vie for joining the defense forces instead and within a period of around eight years, they occupy a responsible position in the defense. For example, if they are in the Army, they become Major, in Navy, Lt. Commander and Air Force, they become Squadron Leader. The graduates coming out of the universities have to try for BCS examination and very few of them can embrace that job. Those who embrace it, have to start from the entry level and by that time their defense friends hold the position of Major/Lt. Commander/ Squadron Leader that is equivalent to Deputy Secretary level in the civil administration.  Now the question is who will teach in the universities when the smart and smarter group find their position in the defense and civil administration? The friends who we saw in the university life involved themselves only in studying subjects, not anything else usually become university teachers (with possible exceptions ). The current day students who see the entire world exposed before them will not receive the normal or only subject based class. To cater to their needs and thirsts the subject knowledge must be mingled with the current day phenomena of the world. Whatever subject the university teachers teach, they must give importance to present scenario of the surroundings keeping pace with the subject matter. That will invite the attention of the students of this age.

Non-government jobs need to be given importance to ease the burden on the government job. In the current practice, no protocol is available whatever big job you do in the private sector. It has become a matter of prestige for the non-government job holders. Some government officials holding responsible positions have come from backward districts or by virtue of some other quota facilities. Whereas, being the citizen of some developed districts, many people cannot enter into the government better jobs and take up non-government job. Now the candidates of the quota beneficiaries don’t think of their own situation, rather they try to undermine the private or non-government job holders. This situation leads many university graduates to frantically try for a government job and the pressure on government job has increased tremendously. Moreover, the number of positions is limited but the number of candidates is passing out of the college and universities several times higher.

To run the fabric the state administration, it is necessary to nurture government employees and they should have status. That is good. Side by side, other job holders must also have state determined status otherwise people will give more importance to government job inviting an abnormal situation in the job market. If it continues, who will take the responsibility to save the civilization? If all the higher educated people vie for administration, then who will be agriculturists, engineers, teachers, doctors, researchers, architectures?  But todays’ students give full or almost entire of their effort and importance to become government bureaucrats by memorizing the BCS guides. Can we solely hold them responsible for that? Definitely not. We all are responsible for it and need to do something for that so we can allure the brighter candidates to become good professionals, not administrators. If university teachers could receive promotion by virtue of their rich academic career and research without involving themselves in nasty politics, if they could have lived with honour and prestige and would not have to satisfy the student wing of government party and other students mastans, they would not have left the world of knowledge just to become high level clerk and enjoy the so-called power. The state must ponder over this point.  We cannot afford to blame the students only for this situation. Rather the factors responsible for happening such an abnormal situation must be critically analyzed to bring out a tangible solution where brighter pupils must get encouragement to contribute to their respective discipline very creatively and perfectly.

Writer: Education Specialist and Lead-Education and Research Team, and Dainik Amader Barta


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