The success of a nation is intimately tied to the strength of its education system, with universities and research institutions serving as the guardians of knowledge and innovation, driving the country’s intellectual capital. However, when toxic behaviours infiltrate academia and the authorities prioritise personal gain over collaboration, the repercussions extend beyond academia itself, impacting the entire nation.
The progress of society relies heavily on the quality of education, and it is the dedicated, competent, and respectable faculty members who guide this progress towards excellence. Unfortunately, a corrosive culture is spreading throughout our academic institutions, manifesting as maliciousness and self-centeredness, which undermine the noble pursuit of knowledge.
Regrettably, these toxic individuals are more numerous than we would like to admit, and their actions tarnish the educational landscape. Their cunning tactics often involve animosity, envy, self-promotion, and an utter disregard for universal values and principles. The consequences of their behaviour are severe and far-reaching. Educators who could have made significant contributions to the nation’s future are stifled, demoralised, or even compelled to abandon their careers. The toll on their mental and physical well-being is immeasurable. When dedicated individuals face hostility, arbitrary decisions, and a climate of fear and insecurity, the damage extends beyond personal suffering, corroding the very essence of our educational institutions and the fabric of our society.
What makes this crisis even more alarming is the impact it has on talent retention and brain drain. As individuals seek better prospects abroad, they are also turning away from our institutions due to the toxic culture that drives away our brightest minds. These talented individuals find solace in more nurturing academic environments where their contributions are valued and their well-being is safeguarded. Paradoxically, these toxic leaders are inflicting more harm on our homeland than any external threat ever could.
Addressing this crisis is imperative for our nation. The first step is to hold toxic individuals accountable for their harmful actions, ensuring that they face the consequences of their decisions. Creating an environment where grievances can be addressed without fear of retaliation is also crucial. It is high time we restored the sanctity of our academic institutions, shielding them from the corrosive influence of toxic and non-collaborative academics. Only then can we nurture the potential of our educators and students, foster progress, and fortify our nation against any challenge, whether it originates from within or outside our borders. Our country deserves nothing less than the very best, and it is paramount that we eradicate toxicity from the core of academia.
DR. INTIKHAB ULFAT,