Ministry order proves futileSiddiqur Rahman Khan
The move for anti-militancy activities in educational institutions has proved to be ‘futile’ as only one out of more than 35,000 secondary schools, colleges, madrassahs and universities has so far executed the home ministry order that aimed to preventing militancy.
The inter-ministerial committee on the prevention of militancy and making people aware of negative sides of militancy in May 2011 decided that all the educational institutions under the education ministry would be asked to hold anti-militancy meetings and rallies and inform the home ministry of the execution of the order.
The state minister for home, Shamsul Huq, who heads the anti-militancy committee at a meeting in July expressed dissatisfaction about the callousness the education ministry has shown in implementing the directives, according to government documents New Age has obtained.
Shamsul Huq, who chaired the meeting, found that only the Sylhet Government College had held anti-militancy rallies and meetings after the education ministry had in May 2011 issued the order that had been sent to all educational institutions. A national security intelligence representative told the meeting that not a single institution in Dhaka had arranged any rallies or meetings in keeping with the directive.
Education ministry joint secretary Ahsanul Zabbar had to face severe criticism at the meeting, according to a document signed by Zabbar.
Shamsul Huq told New Age on Friday that educational institutions had again been asked to hold such programmes. Teaches and imams of mosques have been asked to be cautious so that no militant can take shelter inside mosques and madrassahs or any institutions.
The state minister, however, made no comment whether it had taken any punitive measures against heads of educational institutions for not implementing the directive.
According to government statistics, the number of total educational institutions under the ministry is 35,429 with more than 1.37 lakh students being enrolled. The government has no control over about 25,000 unregistered qoumi, noorani and hafizia madrassahs.
There is widespread allegation that teachers and students of some madrassahs are involved in militant activities.
In the latest incident, the police arrested nine suspected Harkatul-Jihad-e-Islami activists at a training session at Khademul Islam Qoumi Madrassah Mosque at Uttar Kamdevpur in Nalchhity in Jhalakathi on Wednesday night.
New Age found that in keeping with the directive of the home ministry, the education ministry on June 2, 2011 set up a nine-member committee headed by a joint secretary asking it to make students aware of militancy and hold meeting in every month against militancy.
The committee on which most members are bureaucrats was also asked to inform the home ministry of the steps the committee would take. The committee has had no activities ever since it was set up.
The education ministry on October 30, 2012 issued a letter to all heads of schools, madrassahs, colleges and universities to gear up such activities.
The letter signed by senior assistant secretary AZM Nurul Huq reads: ‘In keeping with a decision the inter-ministerial meeting made, all educational institutions will be asked to hold meetings and lectures to make students aware of negative aspects of militancy.’
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