Draft bill of new Education Act to be ready June 23

Education Minister Dipu Moni on Sunday said that the draft of the Education Act would be finalised on June 23.

In reply to a tabled question from Jatiya Party MP Shameem Haider Patwari, the Minister said in Parliament that after finalising the Act on June 23, it will be sent to the Cabinet Division for getting approval in principle from the cabinet.

The education ministry took the initiative to prepare an education law in line with the Education Policy of 2010.

The policy recommended formulation of a law for proper implementation of the policy.

It also asked a subcommittee of the education policy implementation committee to draft a law on January 26, 2011.

In December 2016, the education ministry sent a draft of the Education Act to the Cabinet Division. But it took the draft back following huge criticism as the ministry gave legitimacy to coaching and private tuition in the name of "shadow education".

According to the draft of the Education Act, there will be provision for imposing a ban on printing, publishing, and marketing notebooks and guidebooks.

The draft act stipulates that teachers will not be able to give private tuitions to students of their own institutions. It also seeks to ban corporal punishment for schoolchildren and mental torture by teachers.

According to officials, the draft law makes printing, publishing, and marketing of notebooks and guidebooks punishable by a maximum imprisonment of three years or a maximum fine of Tk 5 lakh or both.

It also states that if a teacher forces students of his institution to buy notebooks and guidebooks, actions will be taken against him or her.

However, the government will allow publication of supplementary books and education aid books only after approval from the authorities concerned.

If a teacher of an educational institution forces students to purchase supplementary books and education aid books, it will be considered as misconduct and disciplinary actions will be taken against him or her, says the draft law.

State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Zakir Hossen said that there are 5,626 dilapidated primary school buildings in the country.

In response to a query of ruling Awami League MP elected from Noakhali Mamunur Rashid said the government has taken steps to develop the infrastructure in these dilapidated government primary school buildings.

According to sources available at different websites, the total number of government primary schools is around 65,000.

Responding to a question from ruling Awami League MP from Chattogram M Abdul Latif, Education Minister Dipu Moni said the government has taken steps to establish 10 government secondary schools in the vicinity of the capital to reduce the pressure of students in Dhaka schools.

These schools will be at Keraniganj, Purbachal, Jalkuri, Nabinagar, Dhamrai, Hemayetpur, Joarsahara, Santarkul, Ashulia and Chattogram Road.

The Minister in reply to Jatiya Party MP elected from Kishoreganj Mujibul Haque said the government will take necessary measures to address the issue of fixing of high tuition fees indiscriminately at the private universities.

“The University Grants Commission is already collecting and reviewing the fee structure of all private universities,” she said.

Responding to a question from AL MP from Feni Nizam Uddin Hazari, State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Zakir Hossen said the ongoing school feeding program would end on June 30.

“A feasibility study has been initiated to take up new projects in this regard. Following the completion of the feasibility study, a new project will be adopted for school feeding of government primary school students across Bangladesh in the light of the recommendations,” he said.

Responding to a question from AL Mamunur Rashid, Dipu Moni said educational institutions which are not brought under MPO enrolment, will be considered for MPO registration as this is a continuous process.

Source: United News of Bangladesh