Bangladesh college principals wonder if they are imparting right education

Their contemplation comes amidst the surfacing of growing number of students found involved in recent acts of terrorism, including the Gulshan and Sholakia attacks.

On Thursday, National University organised a meet in which the 1200 principals of colleges affiliated to the university attended.

The event was held at the Krishibid Institution Auditorium in Khamarbarhi.

In his opening speech, National University Vice-Chancellor Harun ur Rashid said, "We wish to impart education peacefully and in safety."

He wondered what benefit was derived by killing innocent foreigners who ironically meant only to contribute to Bangladesh's development.

He also asked the heads of colleges to form vigilance teams to check the spread of misleading ideologies and to encourage those gone astray to return to a healthy frame of mind.

Picking the cue from the missing students resurfacing as terrorists in the recent attacks, Prof Rashid said regular attendance should be taken and made a strong case for accountability of the students.

"Action needs to be taken against regular absentees. Families who do not report about their missing wards should also take responsibility," he said.

The event follows a similar meet organised at the behest of home and education ministries in which authorities of private universities were asked to join following the discovery of some private university students in the terror attacks.

The "Peace against Terror" lecture was delivered by Eden Girls' College Principal Prof Gayatri Chatterjee.

"It seems we are not being able to provide the right education. If we fail to provide value-based and ethical education, the scenario will only get worse," she said.

Representing the private colleges, Dhaka Commerce College Principal Abu Sayeed said, "After parents, children listen to the advice of their teachers," and added that the young generation must be inspired.

Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) Director General Prof SM Wahiduzzaman said, "We are going through revolutionary times." He said families of missing students can provide vital clues about their whereabouts.

National University Syndicate member and drama personality Ramendu Majumder stressed on building unity among the people. "We won't wait for unity among politicians."

Addressing the meet, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said that Islam and terror had no links and manslaughter is the worst of all sins.

Expressing concern at the involvement of students in Gulshan and Sholakia attacks, he called on educational institutions to follow the ministry guidelines on the issue.

Source: Bangladesh's First Internet Newspaper