Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has approved a draft policy, allowing independent Ebtedayee madrasa teachers to receive benefitssimilar to those provided to primary school teachers in Bangladesh.
The policy was approved on Tuesday and it is scheduled to be sent to the Department of Finance on Wednesday (April 18).
After approval from the department concerned, the Technical and Madrasa Education Division under the Education Ministry will officially publish the policy as a gazette notification.
Responding to a query, Assistant Secretary of thedivision, Mohammad Abdul Khalek, said: “An 11-member committee gave final recommendations on the policy on March 15.”
“The Madrasa Division finalized the draft after reviewing recommendations provided by other ministries and officials concerned. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid approved the draft policy on Tuesday.”
Abdul Khalek is also a member secretary of the policy committee.
According to sources from the Madrasa Division, Ebtedayee madrasa teachers will get the same status and salary structure asprimary school teachers following implementation of the policy.
Earlier, on March 15, Rawnak Mahmud, additional secretary (madrasa) at the Technical and Madrasa Education Division of the ministry, said: “The draft has proposed equal facilities for Ebtedayee and independent Ebtedayee madrasa teachers.”
“We have given priority to academic qualifications and recruitment [in the draft]. The policy will be finalized at a meeting on Thursday.”
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According to the Madrasa Board, there are 6,998 Ebtedayee madrasas across the country.
However, 2016 data of the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (Banbeis) said the number of Ebtedayee madrasas is 3,433. Of them, 1,519 madrasas are getting grants.
These madrasas have around 15,242 teachers and 51,997 students.
Sources said private primary schools and equivalent independent Ebtedayee madrasas were registered in the same circular issued in 1994.
Later, only the primary schools were nationalized. Ebtadayee teachers attached to Dakhil madrasas are getting Tk9,918 as salary, whereas head teachers of independent Ebtadayee madrasas get only Tk2,500, and assistant teachers, Tk2,300.
To remove the disparity, four Ebtedayee teachers filed a writ petition with the High Court on February 7 last year. During aprimary hearing, the court ordered the authorities to end the discrimination and asked the Education Ministry to settle the issue within 90 days.
Following the order, the ministry formed an 11-member panel on October 4, with Additional Secretary Rawnak as convener.
Meanwhile, Ebtedayee madrasa teachers organized a set of protest programssince January 1, including a hunger strike, to press home their demand for the nationalization of their institutions under the Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board.
They called off their demonstrations on January 16 following a government assurance of realizing their demand.
After that, the government began work on finalizing the policy.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com