KPI should be introduced in Bangladeshi universities to upgrade teachers skills and produce quality graduates
Quality university graduates are a great future and hope for a nation. They represent the dignity of our education and universities not only at home but also abroad when they go for higher studies or for any other activities. Of course, some of our graduates are doing excellent across world but they are the crème of the crème; not the real pictures of our bulk graduates. Our sciences graduates are generally are very week in creativity, analytical skills and of course in communication. I cannot believe they have got low IQ and they are not willing to learn since I have found them very hardworking and are trying to coup up with new environment; but I am convinced that there are great flaws in our education systems, especially with our teachers who are working in our highest institutions, the universities. It has already taken the chronic form and significantly bitten our national progress. However, we cannot blame our consumers for not being prudent without fixing a meter that can monitor how much gas they are using.
The current promotion criteria for university teachers in our beloved BD are very very funny and should be revised without any delay. The current system is based mainly on time and if you join today with a master degree, after 12 years you will be professor without improving much your creativity and making any significant contribution to knowledge; this is very very funny, biting our national progress, destroying the quality of our university education and of course dishonoring our professors and graduates to the international communities. In Physics, we have learnt that work is defined by force times distance (W=F x D); if you try to move a building for 100 years but fail to displace it from its original positions, you have done just zero work.
Our university professors are regarded to be highly intellectuals that mean they must contribute to the knowledge and innovations, take entrepreneurship to build up a knowledge-based economy and produce good leaders for our country and industries. However, without bringing creativity inside, nobody can inculcate such qualities to his/her apprentices. I have studied the profiles of American, European, Chinese, Malaysian and Indian Professors and I have found that all most all of them have published more than 30 papers in indexed journals and have minimum h-index 15. Unfortunately, most of our professors do not know what is an h-index and what does it mean for? The reason is very simple; they just do not need it for their career development. However, they feel it nicely when they come abroad with job. I have seen some of our giant full professors who have worked in my university (University of Malaya) just as a Senior Lecturer (SL) because they do not fill the requirements of professorship here. On the other hand, I have not found any Indian full professors to work here as an SL because Malaysia knows it very well that Indian professor must not work in a lower position because professorship in Indian Universities is not so easy; they must prove their exceptional profile prior to receive such as big position.
Now, just for clarification, an h-index is an author-level metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist or scholar. You may publish 100 papers but if they are not cited by others, your h-index is zero; i.e. your work has failed to make any impact to the literature. We have many giant professors in BD Government Universities who have received their doctoral degrees from very famous universities across the world but their publications and research creativity have halted once they have moved back to BD. The bogus belief that research and publications are not possible from BD have made them disable and brought the death in their scientific careers. Of course, the infrastructures and resources in our universities are not world class but I cannot believe that nothing can be done. I have seen some colleagues who have been working in private universities that have poorer infrastructures than those of the government institutions but have continued to produce in good standing journals. If experimental data is not available, there is nothing wrong with our professors to produce at least one review paper in a year. Our professors may argue that they also need publications for promotion and they are doing it nicely. Ya! you will see they are publishing in local or paid international journals that do not have any recognition in scientific data base and also about 5-15 colleagues are putting their names in the same paper and everybody is claiming that this is his/her paper. The strategies are working nicely at home but totally failing abroad. Most of the good standing universities are now counting papers in the account of the first author, corresponding author or principal author. The bogus games are going to be finishing soon unless our university teachers would take self-correcting measures to make them fit for the international markets.
In Malaysia, each university lecturer has KPI which is called key performance index that determines promotion, increment and grading in a neutral way. In fact, KPI system is working nicely to build up a balancedly grown up human capital in academic field. If your KPI score is less than 50%, you might be terminated or lose your job; if it is 50-59% you may stay with your job but will not receive any salary incentives. On the other hand, if it is 60-84%, you will receive salary increment but if it is above 85%, you will be considered exceptional and may be you will receive promotion before your expected time.
The KPI score comes from the following factors:
1. Teaching and Learning
2. Student Supervision (PhD, Master, Final year project for undergrads)
3. Research and Publication
4. Research Grants
5. Innovation and commercialization
6.Collaboration and Networking
7. Recognition (National and International)
8. Membership in Professional Bodies
13. Team work
15. Community services or contribution to society and many more.
Definitely, everybody likes to see a balanced growth of his or her body parts. It is very very odd looking when only one part of your body grows up. KPI parameters might help develop a homogeneously grown up intellectual in our universities. The weightage of different parameters might vary depending on the circumstances and available resources; but it is at least not wise to promote our teachers just on the basis of one or two criteria. Therefore, BD Universities can consider introducing this system in grading our teachers to bring a positive change in our higher education systems. Initially, our university teachers might be unhappy, but ultimately they will smile because it will make them fit for international markets and bring many long term benefits in their career and of course to our graduates who are the future leaders and hope of our nation. No mother can give natural birth without undertaking some pain; then why are we not ready to take the hardships which are reasonably necessary to build dignified leaders in our society?
We have learnt that mother will not give you milk if you do not cry. If university teachers are promoted just on the basis of teaching experience and some useless publications in unrecognized journals, then I do not see much difference between them and school teachers who can teach but cannot think much. I feel very sad when I found some associate or so called full professors from my country are doing PhD in Malaysia or elsewhere and proudly telling people that they are university professors in BD. It’s a great shame for our nation and quality of our education. How a person can be promoted to such a highly dignified position in the 21st century when there are no shortages of PhD holders? When many of our PhDs are jobless, why a master holder will be given such as a big post; are they super charismatic like Newton or Einstein? Our senior professors and policy makers should deeply think where are they leading our future? May be they understand but do not like to take the initiatives because they fear that their juniors will be unhappy and will revolt their leadership. My surprise question is, do they also hesitate to be hard with their own children if they neglect their studies on the plea that they will be unhappy with them? Very sad and hopeless future if quality of our education is not maintained and our seniors do not show patriotic attitudes.
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