Bangladesh topped the list of most corrupt countries in the world for five consecutive times, according to the report of Transparency International Bangladesh. Corruption has gripped every aspect of our social and national life. There is no sector in the country which can be termed as corruption-free. How much are our students getting prepared to avoid corruption?
A university student after completing education will enter job life. Where will he get the conception about the problems he will face at the primary stage of job life? Will he gather this experience while working or studying in the university?
Do they receive education they need to fight against corruption for protecting themselves while working in the office? If they do not receive that type of education-then when they will have to work among a group of corrupt officers will they be able to say that they will not indulge in corruption?
The probability of doing the second one is more. Though they do not want to indulge in corruption they may be a cause of wrath to boss or brought to bay in the office. As corruption is ingrained in recruitment process many look at the way of money any way.
Many people say doing or not-doing corruption is related to ethics. Moral decay or degradation is wide in Bangladesh, so corruption will persist. Until moral value is becomes stronger , it will not be possible for the person to be corruption-free. When morality becomes stronger, corruption will reduce automatically. Once serious anomalies were followed in public examination in Bangladesh. Copying in public examination was a common phenomenon. Even teachers worked as accomplices or they became bound to do that. But the present state minister for education A.N.M Ehsanul Haque Milon's time-bound measure has made public examinations copy-free. Once Bangladeshi people did not believe that free and fair election could be held. Police and concerned officers could not discharge their duties accurately. But under the stewardship of the government the whole scene changed. The same police and officers conduct free and fair election.
If we can take necessary steps then people will regain moral values undoubtedly. If the country takes punitive action against corruption then degree and dimension of corruption will decrease in the country. But will the country's universities idle away time for that or impart conception about how corruption is becoming an obstacles on the way of development of future leaders?
Education against corruption should be made compulsory for the students of university or graduate level. Where corruption is indulged, what is the cause of corruption, loss from corruption, moral degradation due to corruption--if students get detailed education about these necessary issues and if they also taught the ways to fight against that corruption, then won't it bring any fruitful result? If fifty percent students are motivated against corruption and if they know how to fight against corruption then today or tomorrow Bangladesh will be free from corruption. The most important issue in this regard is that if consciousness against corruption is raised from among the students then this notion will be easily spread among the general people.
But education against corruption cannot be based on morality or mere rhetoric. Syllabus should be developed depending upon the different category of corruption.
The per capita income of Nigerian people was US$800 in 1982. In spite of huge investment in its oil and mineral resources, per capital income of that country has declined to only US$300. In 2004, that meager amount has increased to US$ 390. Behind this dismal performance corruption done by government officials worked. Through corruption they have improved their fate but the fate of general people has worsened significantly.
During the autocratic regime of Ershad an investigation was made and published on the country's banking sector but a large number of government people were involved in that investigation which did not produce any effective result.
From a report published in a Bangla daily it has been known that over 40 per cent medicines sold in the local market is adulterated. Taking this adulterated medicine a patient may become the victim of serious loss or he or she may succumb to death any other destructive situation. The persons who were to check the issue of corruption in case of adulterated medicines were engaged in corruption anyway that is why such type of medicine came in the market. But it is open secret that the members of the corrupt officials' family may be attacked for taking this adulterated medicine. There is no guarantee that they will not take adulterated medicine.
If we can arouse hatred in the mental domain of students how a country and its citizens are rotting away due to massive corruption, will they not take any step against corruption?
Saidur Rahman is assistant professor, English in Chuknagar College, Khulna and commentator, Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar.