In the lecture, Professor Mahmud listed the secondary level education as the most important 'missing link' in the country's entire education system and deplored the poor quality of education offered at the school level. In order to keep pace with rapid global development, he urged to make basic education open for all and higher education selective based on merit to ensure quality education outcome. He also stressed the need for connecting higher education and training system with the labour market by reorienting the system of public higher education, reforming the regulatory framework for private education, and building effective industry-academia partnerships.
Addressing the serious problem, Professor Mahmud suggested “the whole education system needs to be geared towards developing well-balanced human resources with appropriate skills and flexibility for adjustment to keep pace with increasingly competitive and globalised markets and rapidly changing technologies."
In the discussion, former Finance Minister M Syeduzzaman said, Millennium Development Goals by UN emphasises on education for all, but not quality education for all. He recommended allocating higher budget in education than that of the defense expenditure to ensure quality education to meet the human resource needs of economic development.
Professor Ainun Nishat, Vice Chancellor of BRAC University said, education should be holistic and quality has to be improved. Criticising the current education system, he also added, some of our Private Universities are selling certificates in the name of education which indicates clear absence of governance and regulation in the whole education system.
Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman said, the reason behind today’s polarised and faulty education system is the outcome of politicisation of education. And now we are paying the price.
Former Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Salehuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Researcher Anwara Begum, Kallyan Party Chairman Syed Mohammed Ibrahim, Dhaka University Professor Barkat E Khuda, AmCham President A Gafur, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director Dr. Fahmida Khatun, Education Expert at Australian High Commission James Jennings, Daily Star Managing Editor Salehuddin Ahmed, former vice-chancellor of North South University Hafiz G A Siddiqui, and Care Bangladesh representatives Tracy Evans and Jemmi Charlibios also took part in the discussion.
Academics, Researchers, Experts, Politicians, Representatives from Think Tanks and Donor organisations, civil society members, and students also attended the programme.
The event was widely covered by the media. Some of the links of the news coverage of the programme are given below:
The Daily Star
The Daily Prothom Alo
The Daily Dhaka Tribune
The Daily Financial Express
The Daily IttefaQ
The Daily Jugantor
The Daily Samakal
The Daily Alokito bangladesh