A tainted university system leads to a tainted education

"There are big problems in the lecture staff of universities. There are concerns in their salaries but compare to other executive posts it is high. There is another side of this. That is they even contribute 10% of their service to the university or student community."

by Harshi.C.Perera

(July 08, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)
Last week the Rivira newspaper had a discussion with the Minister of Higher Education minister S. B. Dissanayake. He revealed an important factor during this discussion.

When he was a university student it was a very difficult thing to obtain a class. He further mentioned any student in his batch or previous batch didn’t pass with a first class. The minister said today there are more and more classes in universities. Each graduating class would include around 25-30 first class passes. The situation is similar to second upper classes and second lower classes. The most minimum are the simple passes. The minister suspects that the knowledge of a student who passed with a first class today does not come to the knowledge of a student who had a simple pass at past. So there is a big problem in this matter. If not there will be no confusion in exam results.

So the Rivira disclosed the reality behind this university exam results specially the classes. In the recent past we had seen an examination result sheet of a student batch of a well known university in the Western province. It included 358 names of students. Forty eight of them passed with first classes. About one hundred and fifty passed with second uppers while same number of them got second lower classes. Only ten students got simple passes.

This was only one example. The most important thing to consider is why this type of situation has occurred. The direct responsibility for this sort of trend should be imposed on the university lectures. This tragedy is the result of their third class behavior and teaching methods.

The sex factor makes a big scenario behind giving classes to female students. This is not common for all the female students. But the only option for unlevered and untalented students to obtain a class is to be naked in front of male lectures. Although unable to produce statistics this does have a huge influence on the entire university system.

There is another aspect of this tragedy. The next target of a student who obtained a class in this obscene way is to join the university staff however. After some time they join the staff they ignore the lecturers who gave them help. As a result of this these lecturers disclose the unpleasant stories of how they became lecturers. This type of actions clearly shows how our universities are spoilt.

The situation of male students does not differ from female students although the sex factor in their case is not relevant. They used their labor and other privileges to obtain classes. These students get the question papers before the exams or reveal questions from their lecturers. Sometimes these students join the staff and get e permanent. We have to do another sense for calculate how many of this kind of lecturers are in universities.

We have to find out the reasons which cause this type of malpractice in the university education system. According to the tradition of universities every answer paper needs to be marked twice. Because there is a chance for mistakes happen from every human being. This may happen without any kind of malice and influence the student’s examination result. So the second marking of examination answers does by a more senior lecturer than the lecturer who does the first marking. The senior lecture is more experienced and knowledgeable about the exact subject. As a example modern Sinhala literature answer paper not forward to a lecture on classical literature or language. But there is a difference in this system in some universities. The second marking very often done by a professor. But he does it very rarely. Although he put some score on the paper which he doesn’t even open to correct. In some universities Professors signed only blank mark sheets as second inquirers. The marks count by his or her most faithful follower. This follower usually adds one or two marks for the mark sheet as second inspection. Sometimes we heard that this procedure does by even clerks in universities. The most sadness is that they are playing games with the future of innocent students. Sometimes this will cause tragedy in student’s life. There will be no one to take responsibility over this tragedy. The student and his or her parents will be suffering at the end.

There are big problems in the lecture staff of universities. There are concerns in their salaries but compare to other executive posts it is high. There is another side of this. That is they even contribute 10% of their service to the university or student community.

In some universities some lecturers have one or two lectures per week. They teach a maximum of only three hours per week. Do we have this type of other jobs in Sri Lanka? Another thing is whose money they are wasting. They are wasting not their own wealth but entire nation’s wealth.

There are more other malpractices like inspect thesis, using scholarship funds, misuse of university property and giving external degrees.

We urge that we are not condemning the entire teaching staff in the university system. There are so many dedicated and student supporting lecturers and professors in universities. But few nasty university staff may taint the entire university system. We have to stop this. To do this we have to reveal the dirt that creates a mess in the entire university system.