Hundreds of English medium schools are currently taking on students throughout Bangladesh. The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) has a list of registered schools, but aside from their names, Ministry of Education has little or no information about these educational institutions.
The ministry concerned is putting more emphasis on collecting information on English medium schools following the closure of Lakehead Grammar School in Dhaka, over accusations of involvement in militant activities.
Insider sources said the DSHE will collect information on all educational institutions being run on foreign curricula.
Public Administration Ministry's Joint Secretary Salma Jahan said: “We do not have complete information on English medium schools currently taking classes across the country. We do not know who are running these schools, or how these institutions are being run.
“We will ask the DSHE to give us these details. We will also investigate whether these schools are being run in accordance with our cultural heritage.”
Speaking on the issue, DSHE Director Professor Dr Md Abdul Mannan confirmed that they already have a list containing the names of hundreds of schools.
“We will collect more details on those educational institutions if the situation demands it,” he added.
Sources from the Education Ministry pointed out that every English medium school must take approval from the education ministry.
Following approval, details about the education institution is then sent to DSHE.
According to data provided by the education boards, Bangladesh has more than one hundred English medium schools. However, the government has taken a strict stance over granting approval to new schools, after allegations of involvement with militant activities surfaced against a number of education institutions.
Sources said the government has deemed it necessary to document details about these schools, after the closure of Lakehead Grammar School in Dhaka.
Following allegations against several educational institutions, the English medium schools have drawn the attention of education boards, DSHE and the Education Ministry.
Earlier on November 14, Director General of DSHE Professor Dr S M Wahiduzzaman held a meeting with the authorities of 35 English Medium Schools.
Present at that meeting as the chief guest, prime minister's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam asked Wahiduzzaman to increase scrutiny of English medium schools across the country.
Registration process of English medium schools
All non-government schools must register under “The Registration of Private Schools (Amendment) Act Bangladesh, 2017.” According to the regulations, a private educational institution must get an initial approval from the Education Ministry for the first two years.
After that period, the school must apply again to renew its registration, provided that the institution passed a performance evaluation.
After the initial approval, all private schools must renew their registration every three years.
The article was first published on Bangla Tribune