President Abdul Hamid asked the authorities of private universities to increase numbers of scholarships so that poor but meritorious students could get access to higher education alongside the students from well-off families.
“I urge all concerned to consider the issue,” he said while presiding over the second convocation of University of Information Technology and Sciences at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
The convocation got a new look as former prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Bin Mohamad, who is widely called as the architect of modern Malaysia, spoke as the convocation speaker.
Abdul Hamid expressed his gratitude to the former Malaysian premier for visiting Bangladesh.
“On behalf of the University and on my own behalf I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to you [Mahathir] for honouring us with your kind presence and delivering convocation speech at this august gathering,” he said.
Nearly 6,000 students were conferred graduate and post graduate degrees from different disciplines while six students received gold medals for their outstanding academic results.
Terming the graduates as higher human resources of the country, President Hamid said: “Keep in mind that the country as well as the state has helped you to reach this level. So you are in debt to the country. If you are able to serve the nation through your acquired knowledge and merit, that debt will be paid to some extent.”
The president also stressed the need for combining joy with education, saying affection for people, humanity, culture, tradition, and knowledge and technology-based techniques must be infused in education.
“We need such education that can produce creative and enlightened people, not certificate oriented education or the kind of education which rely on reading of textbooks and memorising guide books,” he said.
Bangladesh needed an education that would teach students to wipe out all superstitions, narrowness and fundamentalism as well as gave emphasis on unity among human race eradicating all discrimination, the president said.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, UITS board of trustees Chairman Mohammad Mizanur Rahman and Vice-Chancellor Muhammad Samad also addressed the programme.