The Dhaka University’s decision to re-affiliate seven Dhaka-based government colleges from the National University in 2017 has had the unfortunate effect of aggravating the very problems that they had hoped to address. The growing frustration of the students of both Dhaka University and those seven colleges at the university’s failure to alleviate their sufferings, soon led to street protests. The situation has not improved: results are not being published on time, exams are not being held regularly, and classes at DU are being disrupted regularly.
One might ask, why the problems though. For one, the decision to re-affiliate the seven colleges seems to have been made without any preparation and executed in haste. Secondly, lack of resources, especially manpower, has only added to the burden on the existing DU staff. Over the last two and a half years, sufficient staff have not been recruited to handle the needs of the 2.5 lakh students of the colleges. Thus, the fate of these students along with that of the 43,385 students of DU now seems uncertain. Furthermore, the concerned authorities, instead of working together to address this crisis, have resorted to playing blame game to avoid shouldering responsibility.
It is unfortunate that even after two years, the authorities have not been able to even initiate the task they had been entrusted with, let alone making any progress. Only recently, a 10-member committee has been formed to resolve the crisis although it’s puzzling why it has taken so long to do so. Among other initiatives, a separate wing can be created under DU with a set of staff dedicated to handling the needs of the college students. It is high time the education ministry stepped in to find a sustainable and effective solution to this problem, especially since the academic future of nearly 3 lakh students are at stake. With youth development being a priority for the government, this should be an immediate concern to address.