Published:  12:39 AM, 26 September 2017 Last Update: 12:40 AM, 26 September 2017

Are teachers only stakeholders of a university?

Are teachers only stakeholders  of a university?

Universities are called syndicate of scholars, both students and teachers of a university come to the tertiary level of education after purge in several stages. Qualified teachers and students have access there to ensure a congenial aura of imparting and receiving education. Participation of students and teachers in university education is indispensable. Without participation of a side education remains incomplete. Likewise, in every decision making process participation of both sides is required.

But what is happening in our country? Let's take a look at one of the famous universities of Bangladesh.  The authority of a public university on 14 September has taken a decision after a discussion with deans of faculties and representatives of university's teachers ' association that spending of this year's university day would be donated to Rohingya refugees fleeing violence, escaping death and taking shelter inside Bangladesh. The decision might have taken considering gravity of plight and desperate need of aid to the world's most persecuted and friendless Muslim community living in Myanmar for generations.

The purpose and intention of the decision, no doubt, is a gracious one and introduction of humanitarian feature of honorable administration is exposed through the well appreciating decision. The university authority has taken stance on support of humanity when international community is not doing enough and chooses to remain silent.  Students came to know that information via social media as university authority released out a press in this regard on the very day.

The readymade decision of donating university day spenditure to the urgent need of Roingya community pushed to students without previous announcement and any consent from them.  Students were seen lam·baste the decision on social communication sites. Many dissent with decision while many raise question of authorization in taking such decision. Students grossly expressed deep concern over the decision. While a portion seemed clueless and fewer hailed the decision and updated facebook posts describing how they had taken the decision.

 Straightly speaking, they have merely known the finalized decision. But a heap of queries turn head through their decision, are they alone entitled to produce that decision. Are they only stakeholder of the university? Is the university day programme arranged in their interest? How are they in number?

Don't students of the university make up 90% of the population, stakeholders, and interest holders? The largest number of stakeholders has been kept out of decision making process whose interests matter much. Honest to be said, celebration of university's day mostly student oriented as they eagerly wait for this day long whole a year. The day is different from any other days in every student's life as university students rarely get respite to refresh themselves being tasked with long schedule classes, exams, assignments, presentation what not.

Many could not accede with  Ranting on advocacy of observing a splendid ceremony thereby, I am not taking stance against humanity and denouncing the magnanimity of university but reminding them you should been taken suggestion from the largest stakeholders who are depriving of a gala day and sacrificing you their merrymaking.

You, teachers at best make up 10% either but enjoying lion share in decision making. You should have heard their word as the larger sharers, it might not go against the decision you made arbitrarily where their interest matter much and must have great impact on them keeping them in dark. Why decision from a portion will be pushed against majority without their participation in the decision making. The process of decision making largely resembles to decision making Pakistani coteries that was pressed against the people of East Pakistan arbitrarily and clueless masses of the East portion dissent forever.  

That left scars on their heart. The decision could have been made keeping every stakeholder including teachers, students, staffers and employee unscathed and enjoying mandate from them. Implementing the decision the authority must suffer of confidence and unanimous mandate from largest part of stockholders. What if the largest portion dissent with the decision that already has been taken? If participation of largest portion was made sure, they would consent with the humanitarian decision.

It is not story of Jagannath University alone; in universities of Bangladesh decisions usually  have been taken thus way without student representation and denying their say since long. It is not like that student's representation and participation system was never in our country. Even, it was prevail at a time when the country was under an autocrat ruler.  But regrettably, during democratic regime, students have no say, no representation; no opinion   even things come in regard their interests.

So, let them take their decision of their own. Make sure their voices are not being gone unheard if the higher education is being taught in universities, the highest echelon of knowledge really doesn't make sense. I hope, goodwill of the university teachers and administration must rise up letting stakeholders talk and give opinion of their own that also inclusive and well accepted from all sides.

Students must break silence and raise their voice up. Instead choosing silence, students should louder voice and marshal pressure on the age long coterie otherwise they will not be allowed their voice to be heard and could break shackle of deprivations. The writer is a journalist, member of Jagnnath University Journalists Association.

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