Education Act: Draft seeks regn of all edn institutionsMohiuddin Alamgir
The draft of the first-ever education act provisions for penalty for all types of educational institutions — Bangla and English mediums, kindergartens, and madrassahs — offering nursery, primary and secondary course if the do not have government approval and registration with relevant authorities.
The draft that was put on the web site of the education ministry on Wednesday to seek public opinions and recommendations, says that authorities of educational institutions not complying with the rules could face financial penalty and imprisonment.
The government will not allow doing business with primary and primary schools and ibtedayi madrassahs, the draft said.
A ministry release on the day said that the draft Education Act 2013 was put on the ministry web site to correct the law based on the opinion of people of the country.
The law was put on www.moedu.gov.bd and anyone can send in opinions, recommendations and advice till August 25 by sending email to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
A sub-committee formed that the education ministry set up to draft the act has finalised the draft in about two years and a half.
The ministry on January 26, 2011 set up the sub-committee in line with recommendations of the National Education Policy 2010, which said that a law was needed for the proper implementation of the policy.
Fees for all mediums of educational institutions, including English mediums, should be decided on government approval, Section 23 (3) of the draft law says.
The government will also decide session fees for universities and set up a
regulatory commission to set student fees, according to Section 41, (2) and (3) of the draft.
Section 47 (1) of the draft says that women’s education will get special budgetary allocation and special fund so that it could be furthered.
The draft also says that for the development of education and the creation of leadership, elected students’ council will be formed in all education institutions beginning from the primary to the higher education level.
The draft says that all educational institutions at nursery, primary, secondary and higher secondary levels must be registered with authorities and any violation could be considered a punishable crime. Any violation could entail Tk 3 lakh in penalty or six months’ imprisonment or both.
People or organisations setting up colleges and universities without government approval will be fined Tk 5 lakh or given six months in jail or both.
No private or foreign universities in Bangladesh without the approval of the authorities concerned will be allowed to run branch campuses and study centres and to offer tutorial courses and any violation will entail Tk 10 lakh in penalty or five years’ imprisonment or both.
The draft of the law says that compulsory primary education will be up to Class VIII from Class I and Bangla, English, mathematics, religious instruction, moral education, Bangladesh studies, information technology, science, and introduction to environment will be made compulsory in general schools, madrasas and kindergartens.
At O and A levels, Bangla and Bangladesh Studies will be made compulsory. The draft says that teaching activities at O and A levels will need to be conducted with government approval.
The draft says that a separate non-government teachers’ selection commission will be set up disbanding the Non-Government Teachers’ Registration and Certification Authority for teacher appointment at non-government primary schools, ibtedayi madrassahs, secondary schools, dakhil madrasas and colleges.
A full-time or part-time teacher with special training in education of people with disabilities and other communities will have to be appointed in every primary school.
It further says that a single person cannot be elected or nominated president and member of managing committees of more than two non-government educational institutions.
The ministry will set up an autonomous permanent education commission to implement the education policy.
The draft says that the government will take steps to audit financial and other activities of nursery and primary schools.
An office of the chief education inspector will be set to provide the parliament and the government with annual reports on the education sector.
As for financing, the draft law says that the state will run nursery and primary education and the government in the national budget would allocate the money required for education.
It says that public-private partnership schemes in higher education should be encouraged. Money from non-government sources in grant for education will be tax-free.
Students should be provided with health cards by way of which they will get treatment in public hospital and health centres.
Ministry officials said that many countries in the world have such an education act which is needed to bring all education-related things under a legal coverage. The education sector is now running on some notifications, circulars, office orders and others and the government faces losses whenever it faces legal actions in the absence of the law.
‘The education law was under way to ensure world-standard education for new generation,’ the education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, told reporters.
He said that the law would be put into the final form soon.
Nurul Islam told New Age in March that they were trying to put in place a uniform education system and the law is the first step towards the goal.
The country’s constitution has provision for a uniform, mass-oriented and universal system of education and extension of free and compulsory education for all children to such stage as may be determined by law.
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