President Abdul Hamid has asked the university authorities not to turn the higher education institutions under them into commercial centres.
"We do not want universities to be commercialised in the name of education, considering education as a commodity," he said.
The president was addressing the first convocation of the Canadian University of Bangladesh (CUB), held at the Osmani Memorial auditorium on Tuesday afternoon.
President Hamid, also the chancellor of CUB, added, "A university cannot be run as per anyone's will."
He called upon the entrepreneurs in the education sector to change their mentality of doing business with education.
"Changing the mindset from commercialising education is good for all. Run the university in accordance with the laws and regulations," he advised.
Noting that there are currently over 150 universities in Bangladesh, he said, "If we see the newspaper, we notice that some universities are distributing certificates in the name of degrees and many universities have opened factories manufacturing graduates."
He said it is very urgent to ensure the quality, transparency and accountability of educational institutions with the aim of developing the nation, building a better society and producing world-class graduates.
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"Higher education is worthless without quality. So, it must be ensured that higher education is not only the highest certificate," he added.
Expressing grave concern, Hamid said that the number of highly educated unemployed persons in the country is increasing day by day. If jobs cannot be linked with education, the university may have to shut due to lack of students in the days to come.
Hamid urged the university authorities to take steps to ensure the atmosphere of education as well as to build their own campus and infrastructures.
"You will develop as good citizens by nurturing the history and heritage of the country and enriching yourself with knowledge and the practice of science," he hoped.
Turning to the teachers, President Hamid said, "You are the great builders of a developed nation. You must have a strong moral character and be impartial, fearless and truthful."
He requested everyone to work unitedly to educate and develop the young generation of the country with modern education.
The Chancellor said students should not be limited to studying textbooks - they should also acquire knowledge from external sources along with the academic activities.
President Hamid said there is no alternative to spreading technology-based education to make Bangladesh a developed country by 2041 as announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
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The president also directed the authorities concerned to prepare an up-to-date curriculum keeping in mind the issues like nano-technology and artificial intelligence to face the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR)
Nobel Laureate and famed rights activist Kailas Satyarthi of India was the keynote speaker at the convocation.
Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F. Rahman, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, MP, Chairman of Board of Trustees of CUB Chowdhury Nafeez Sharafat, Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr HM Zahirul Haque, Senior Advisor of the University Professor Dr Sheikh Mamun Khaled, Advisor Professor Dr. Ridwanul Haque and Professor Syed Akhtar Hossain spoke.
Source: United News of Bangladesh