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Khaleda urges teachers, students: Maintain campus peace

Wednesday August 31 2005 09:41:43 AM BDT

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia on Tuesday urged all concerned, including teachers, students and guardians, to play their 'expected responsible roles' in maintaining congenial and healthy atmosphere in the institutions of higher education.

She also laid stress on opening of new departments, faculties, institutions and research centres keeping pace with the changing competitive world, and called upon all to be more devoted and caring to maintain standard of education along with adopting time-fitting curriculum.

The Prime Minister made the call while addressing a function to award 'Prime Minister's Gold Medal' to outstanding meritorious students of public universities in the International Conference Centre at the PM Office. "We all must give the highest emphasis on making education an aid to the flourishing of man's honesty, judiciousness, patriotism and humanity," she told the function.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) introduced the Prime Minister's Gold Medal for the first time in the country.

Ministers, MPs, Vice- Chancellors of public and private universities, academics and members of UGC, among others, attended the function

The Prime Minister gave away gold medals to 57 students of 15 public universities who secured the highest marks in various faculties in Bachelor Degrees.

Education Minister M Osman Farruk, State Minister for Education ANM Ehsanul Haq Milon, UGC Chairman Prof M Asaduzzaman and two student representatives Manowar Sultana of Dhaka University and Shahidul Islam of Rajshahi University also spoke on the occasion.

Begum Zia recalled with respect the 'glorious contributions' of the teachers and students of the universities in the Language Movement, the War of Independence and the struggles to establish democracy and said the context of the country has changed a lot on Tuesday.

"The time has come to fix education, research and practice of wisdom as the prime and lone business of the universities," she said and added there is no scope to deviate from this goal in the present competitive world.

The Prime Minister said the words 'education is the backbone of a nation' are still true as those were in the past.

"There is no alternative to education to turn the people into real human being and human resources," she added.

Begum Zia congratulated the meritorious students on their outstanding academic results and hoped that they would be equally successful in their work fields.

She reminded the students that the common people of the country bore their educational expenses in public universities and "it is now your turn to repay the dues."

The Prime Minister termed the teachers as the 'conscience of society and the nation' and said they should be the real friend-philosopher and guide of the students.

She thanked the UGC for introducing the Prime Minister's Gold Medal and said responsibilities and areas of work of the UGC are augmenting with the gradual increase in the number of universities in the country.

She requested the UGC officials to play more effective and meaningful roles to maintain quality of education, congenial atmosphere and financial transparency in the universities.

Begum Zia highlighted some of her government's steps for development of education sector, including giving the highest allocation of Taka 9,686 crore, checking copying in examinations and making textbooks available to students on time.

She said the country's four BITs have been up-gradated to full-fledged universities, and programmes are underway to establish three more universities in Jessore, Noakhali and Comilla.

Addressing the function, Education Minister Dr M Osman Farruk underscored the need for increased fund for improvement of education in universities.

He, however, said the universities should not look upon the government but ensure better financial management and increase their own income.

About autonomy of public universities, the education minister said autonomy does not free the universities of their accountability to the government.

Recipients of the Prime Minister's Gold Medal include eight of Dhaka University, seven of Rajshahi University, six of Bangladesh Agricultural University, five of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, six of Chittagong University, four each of Jahangirnagar University, Islamic University and Khulna University.


By BSS, Dhaka / New Nation

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