Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Friday, June 26, 2015, Ashar 12, 1422 BS, Ramadan 8, 1436 Hijr

A university, a department head and two young teachers
Published : Friday, 26 June, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 85

The chairman of the Urban and Rural Planning Department of Khulna University has submitted his resignation to the registrar of the university. Prof. Ahsanul Kabir has, however, failed to explain to the authorities why he and some senior teachers of the university have in the past nearly one year failed to assign any classes to Shilpi Roy and Lopa Yasmeen, two young teachers of the university. Even in the latest distribution of classes, the two women have been ignored despite clear instructions by Vice Chancellor Mohammad Fayekuzzaman and the University Grants Commission that the problem be resolved. Professor Kabir has not had the propriety to express regrets and has, while submitting his letter of resignation to the registrar, noted that since the class schedule for this year has already been decided upon, the two teachers could not be accommodated.
What the chairman of the department in question has done or not done in the case of Ms. Roy and Ms. Yasmeen amounts to a gross violation of the normal procedures of the way a university should function. For almost a year the two young teachers have been treated with disdain, to a point where they have not had any place in the teachers' room where they could sit. For much of the past year, they have stood in the corridor of the department for want of seating arrangements for them in the teachers' room. What is certainly galling is that none of the other teachers have had the decency to come to the assistance of their young colleagues and ensure that they are treated with dignity. One wonders why the department head and his senior colleagues have been behaving in such atrocious manner. The senior teachers have not deigned to speak to Shilpi Roy and Lopa Yasmeen. Those who used to converse with them subsequently stopped doing so, thereby creating a situation where the two teachers found themselves completely at sea for no fault of theirs.
The matter is obviously one of discrimination. The manner in which the two teachers have been treated amounts to sexism which, in the times we live in, goes against all norms of decency and professionalism. The fact that Professor Kabir has resigned does not solve the problem he has created. Indeed, we are in agreement with VC Fayekuzzaman that the resignation will not be accepted, ostensibly for reasons which have to do with the department head's attitude toward the two teachers. The department head has defied not only the VC but has created conditions where the University Grants Commission has had to step in. Professor Kabir has therefore a lot of explaining to do. For their part, the Khulna University authorities must ensure a redress of the grievances of Ms. Roy and Ms. Yasmeen and make it possible for them to teach in class on a proper and regular basis. They must also investigate the role the department head and his senior colleagues played in keeping the two teachers away from classes together with inquiring into the various indignities they have been subjected to.
Teaching has no place for pettiness or personal prejudices. It is a point which must be remembered and upheld at the universities or for that at all educational institutions.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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