The Jatiya Party and BNP MPs said there was "extreme anarchy" in the education sector, alleging that students had increased their hooliganism with the patronisation of teachers who were also involved in party politics.
Participating at a discussion on the proposed budget allocation for secondary and higher education at the Jatiya Sangsad, they also said such students were even humiliating the teachers, which in turn was destroying the education environment in the country.
Jatiya Party MP Kazi Firoz Rashid mentioned the ill effects of factionalism among teachers in the education sector and also took shots at former Dhaka University vice chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique.
"What is happening to the educational institutions today? He [Arefin Siddique] said that they are making doctors and engineers, but how many proper human beings are they making? He cannot skirt responsibility. He became the VC, but did not have any publication or research," he said.
"He had no doctorate degree and was only recruited for political reasons. That is the problem. In their shadow, many student politicians had turned into goons," he added.
Referring to the humiliation of an acting principal in Narail and the murder of a teacher in Savar, Rashid said the learning environment had been ruined.
He also said there was no need to talk about religious education, but to focus on modern education.
Harun Rashid, a BNP member of parliament (MP), said, "Look at where we are in international education rankings? Can you imagine? Not even among the top 5,000. Fifteen years in power at a stretch! Yet, it was not possible to build any public or private educational institution of a global standard," he said, pointing out the lack of academic research and publications.
Harun also demanded the repeal of taxes on private tuition, while lambasting the corruption in university teacher recruitment.
"The quality of university teachers has gone down. Teacher salaries must be increased to create quality education," he stressed.
Jatiya Party Secretary General Mujibul Haque said, "Every year, 18-20 lakh new job seekers enter the job market in Bangladesh. In that time, 5-6 lakh jobs are created at home and abroad. Many remain unemployed," he said, adding it was time to reimagine the education sector so it focuses on equipping students for careers.
Terming the state of education troubling, Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam claimed Muslim students were being taught Hinduism in the primary and secondary curriculum.
He urged the education ministry to look into the matter.