PM Sheikh Hasina, a former student of DU, attends the inaugural ceremony of centenary conference of Dhaka University
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Dhaka University has to come up with innovative quality research to improve the standard of education.
“Research is a must. Bangladesh is now self-reliant in food. We’re now advancing in every sector [and] it’s the result of quality research,” she said, putting emphasis on conducting more quality research for the advancement of the country.
Sheikh Hasina, also a former student of the university, made this remarks while addressing as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of centenary conference of DU titled ‘Celebrating the 100 Years of the University of Dhaka: Reflections from the Alumni – International and National’ at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban on the campus.
DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman presided over the conference.
The PM said DU can show us the direction to produce skilled and quality manpower capable of adapting to the fourth Industrial Revolution and contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as building a prosperous Bangladesh.
She said the Dhaka University had played leading role in every achievement of the country. “It had to sacrificial a lot. The holy ground of the university witnessed bloodshed of its teachers and students in every democratic movement, including the Language Movement, mass uprising of 1969 and the Liberation War,” the PM said.
Improving education standard
Addressing as special guest, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said Dhaka University will have to play the leading role in improving the country's quality of education.
She said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we’ve got an opportunity to complete the unfinished work of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Dhaka University will have to play a leading role.
“In terms of ensuring quality of education and research, we didn’t yet reach our expected level in global ranking. Dhaka University will have to take responsibility to elevate the quality of learning and research to the highest level,” she said.
Dipu Moni said by identifying the shortcomings and limitations, the university has to take some time befitting initiatives and implement them to secure position in global ranking.
Eminent economist Prof Dr Rehman Sobhan presented a keynote speech.
He said, “Our public educational system remains the refuge of the less privileged sections of the population. The challenge before our policymakers who aspire to lead us through the 21st century towards attaining developed country status is not just to expand but to elevate the quality of learning in our public institutions to the highest levels.”
Sobhan said responding to such a herculean challenge, we should begin with the regeneration of Dhaka University.
He noted that this would require massive investment of resources and at the same time quality governance needs to be ensured.
At the same time the student must be emancipated from the tyranny of violence and partisan dominance which have vitiated the residential character of the campus and made learning into a challenge rather than an opportunity, he added.
“Such challenges both for the development and governance of Dhaka University should not be beyond the capability of a strong and committed leadership. Creativity, determination and recognition of the need to prioritise quality education over the 21st century is a must for that.
“Enabling Dhaka University to realise its full potential as an institution would be visualised as a vital landmark in our progression towards developed country status and the construction of a more just society,” he said.
Six thematic webinar series will be held throughout the year with one every month following the first one – Science for Society in February, followed by Arts, Literature and Culture in March, Business in April, Social Sciences in May and Futures of Higher Education in June.
“We’ve set three primary goals to achieve from the webinars – learning and achieving the techniques to implement SDGs by 2030, making a 4th industrial revolution-friendly Dhaka University and giving the country skilled manpower,” said Dr Akhtaruzzaman.
“Besides, we are working to arrange an international conference in London in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), British Council and Bangladesh High Commission, London in mid-July,” he added.
DU Pro-VC (Academic) ASM Maksud Kamal, Pro-VC (Administration) Mohammad Samad and Treasurer Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed were also present on the occasion.
Dhaka University history
Dhaka University, which is considered the country’s highest echelon for academic excellence, started its academic activities on July 1, 1921 with 12 departments, three faculties, 60 teachers, 877 students and three residential halls on 600 acres of land.
After 99 years, the university has 13 faculties, 13 institutes, 84 departments, 60 bureau and research centers, 19 residential halls, four hostels, 138 affiliated colleges and institutions, 46,150 students and 2,008 teachers.
The university played a vital role in the country’s history. Its students and teachers sacrificed their lives in the 1952 Language Movement, 1969 Mass Upsurge, the 1971 Liberation War and the anti-autocracy movement in 1990.