Bureaucracy in universities | By Rameez Mahesar


Bureaucracy in universities

I always pack the pocket of my mind with the bevy of frequently asked questions about education, health and so on.

When I feel the pocket has overloaded, I take a stab at unloading its burden.To do it, I chance upon students and teachers to inquire into the state of their university in common.

The inquiry which I pursue is always about the opinions of people for their university, generally speaking.

Let’s move with the inquiry that is boiled down to students only.It is: how do you feel being a student of your university?

The rejoinder to this phenomenal query is dangerously shocking; howbeit it is doubtlessly an attention-grabbing point to ponder about.

Almost a total number of students come out dejected from academic and administrative parts of their university.

Upon asking what they see inside these two parts, they come down like a ton of bricks upon their university, christening it a place of bureaucracy since the concept of bureaucracy is extremely practical over there.

For a long time, bureaucracy has taken lots of forms.On the onset, it was a top-down mechanism, and the top of which was in the hands of administrators and policy makers who imposed their will on those at the bottom (teachers, students, communities and parents).

This is what the bureaucracy is in an actual manner.In the parenthesis, however, four players at the bottom of the bureaucratic system seem to have been brought in.

From these four players, teachers have now escaped, in the context of universities, to join the top of bureaucratic structure.

It is seriously sad to note here that the bureaucracy has shifted to the universities’ premises. For people, it offers a luxurious lifestyle through which the raspy attitude reflects the most.

However, these two parts work like two arms of a man do.At this instant, teachers in universities have turned bureaucrats, students say.

Amongst all, teachers of higher ranks mostly wrap themselves in the bureaucratic don. However, bureaucracy prevails in postgraduate studies at full throttle.

What exactly I am trying to say here is that the bureaucracy is not particularly laid on the beds of those at the lower ranks, it is placed under the pillow of those at the higher ranks, bah!

Whatsoever and howsoever the bureaucrats in Pakistani society do is now in the styles of teachers of the focused ranks.

Like bureaucrats, teachers are not technically easy for students to meet and to listen to their critical issues they are perilously facing.

Teachers fix notice on their office doors which state their consultancy time; is this not a bureaucratic style?

I fail to understand this bureaucratic behaviour technically as to what responsibility the teachers have to be available for hours at their office.

Sometimes, it is not the teachers behaving like bureaucrats. It is the universities which are designed on the bureaucratic standard or mechanism where teachers are expected to behave like this in a necessary manner.

Most of such universities are either running like private entities or are they owned privately. In such universities, teachers are bureaucrats and students are their products.

But this ball also falls in public universities where rule-bound roles are performed. Now the present column is totally based on inquiry, let’s touch again the complaints which I receive from students.

Upon asking why teachers behave like bureaucrats, most of the students zip their lips; some argue that the teachers are left bereft of community sense.

Aligned with it, the sense of community among teachers can undoubtedly help. For a long time, teachers have fallen victim to this luxurious sickness which is killing them fast.

However, they should tackle the challenge to destroy this sick perception to change the course of education.

They should announce the vacant rooms for students to learn sans any interruption, since they are recruited to be available to serve their students.

Phew! It has come to know that some teachers pressurise students to do their personal work ranging from teaching in their place, assessing the bulk of answer copies and assignments, crafting the question papers and so on (the string of such unjust things is extremely lengthy).

If students deny, they would indubitably be put in the hell – their career would run into destruction; history is badly fraught with suicides and mental disorder related cases.

For suicides, cases mostly appear on the post-graduation level – PhD and MPhil. At any point, if a student happens to have done something wrong, they are frequently pushed back in severe manner.

Even though some teachers, students tell more frequently, turn dangerously personal towards their students in most of the cases.

Such cases bring in questioning in the class, not greeting, not submitting assignments timely but unwillingly, and sometimes teachers get extremely anguished towards students right after they receive from them any phone call or message.

This all injects fear among students’ minds.I can perceive people who are reading this subject are now giggling as I am portraying teachers more than they try to wrap themselves in the bureaucratic don.

Come on! Let me see your wrinkly face turned by the titter my words have produced. Don’t you chortle?

I think you are completely tired of chronic laughter which might have pushed your jaws to every nuke and corners.

Stop laughing now, since I have mocked people for the serious concern which you have gone through. Think about it.

—The writer is a member of the Editorial Board of a Russian Research Journal; ‘Bulletin of Science and Practice.


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