All irrespective of party and opinion have been urged to work with a synergy, holding education above politics, for the spread of standard education to build a developed society.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia made the appeal while addressing a function organised to distribute Prime Minister Gold Medal-2006, the highest award for meritorious students of public universities, in the city Sunday, reports UNB.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) organised the function.
The Prime Minister Gold Medal was introduced in 2005 to encourage brilliant students of the public universities.
"Education is a national issue. We may have differences in many affairs but not in a fundamental one like education," the Prime Minister told the function.
The Prime Minister also expressed her firm belief that the nation could build up a knowledge-based developed society with united efforts of all.
A total of 57 students of 15 public universities were selected for the Prime Minister Gold Medal this year on the basis of securing first-class first position at graduation/honours-level examinations obtaining the highest marks in different faculties.
The institutions are Dhaka University, Rajshahi University, Chittagong University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh Agriculture University, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology (DUET), Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET), Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, National University, Haji Danesh University of Science and Technology and Dhaka Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Agriculture University.
There are 26 public universities in the country and the setting up of three others under process. There are also 54 private universities in the country.
Reminding that the role of academics and teachers is pivotal in preserving the standard of education and its development, the Prime Minister said, "The people hoped that the academics and teachers would always remain accountable to the nation as regards higher studies and high-level research, rising above all unexpected influence and narrowness."
The Prime Minister also expressed the hope that the teachers would groom students as honest, skilled, innovative and hardworking citizens and make them capable of facing tough competition of globalisation through imparting pragmatic teaching in various branches of science and knowledge.
In this connection, Prime Minister Khaleda also requested the meritorious students to play a leading role in national development in their professional career.
The Prime Minister further requested them to make their contribution to the welfare of poor, common people, reminding that the commoners of this country have a large share of expenditure for education in the public universities through paying their tax.
Referring to various allegations published in newspapers about both public and private universities, the Prime Minister said she was upset at this as her government has extended cooperation to all sectors of education, including higher education.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that those involved in the management of education, particularly teachers and distinguished personalities who initiated the private universities, would give more attention to this matter because education without standard is merely a certificate-bearing education that practically carries no worth.
Earlier, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia distributed medals among the recipients at the function attended by ministers, vice-chancellors of different universities, academics, diplomats, representatives of different international organisations and guardians.
Among others, Education Minister Osman Farruk, State Minister for Education Ehsanul Huq Milon and UGC Chairman M Asaduzzaman and on behalf of the recipients, BUET student Abdullah Al Mujahid and DU student Farzana Akhter spoke at the function.