• Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:32 pm

Era of private tuition, notebook, corporal punishment ends

  • Published at 09:17 pm February 17th, 2021
Student classroom exam
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

A bill has been finalised, with provision for a minimum 3-year jail term or Tk 5 lakh fine or both

Aiming at banning private tuition, coaching, notebooks, corporal and mental punishment of students and the operation of private institutions without prior approval from the government, a proposed law has been drafted, according to a senior official. 

The violation of the provision is a punishable offence with a maximum imprisonment of three years or at least Tk 5 lakh fine or both.

However, books that are helpful can be published with the permission of the government and there will be no bar to freelance coaching.

The draft of the Education Act-2020, he said, would allow the government to fix tuition at all private universities. It also makes the registration of branches of schools and madrasas of foreign origin mandatory.

Md Mahbub Hossain, secretary of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) said the draft law was cleared in a meeting chaired by Education Minister Dipu Moni on Tuesday.

"The law, once implemented, will ban the printing and selling of guide books,  private tuition or coaching by any teacher at his workplace. It will also prohibit providing online education on a commercial basis by teachers," he said. 

Sub-sections 1 and 2 of Section 16 of the bill prohibits the printing, publishing or marketing of textbooks. 

Additional classes may be arranged before or after school hours with the written consent of parents by identifying weak students in the educational institutions, according to the draft law.

The law will also disallow a student from sitting for tests without less than 5% attendance and having no convincing ground.  

Now the law will go for vetting by the law ministry, before being tabled in a cabinet meeting. 

DSHE Secretary Mahbub said the fixing of tuition and other fees of all private institutions will be strictly monitored. 

Kindergartens and madrasas following foreign curricula or any foreign educational institution should be registered in Bangladesh in order to open and run their branches, he said.

Referring to notebooks, Mahbub said the bill would pave the way for disciplinary action against any teacher found forcing his or her students to buy or read guide books.

"Even the head of that institution and its governing body will be held responsible," he said, adding that such behaviour (forcing or encouraging the reading or purchase of notebooks) would be considered as serious misconduct.

Insisting on classroom-based academic activities, educationist Syed Manzoorul Islam said students would not turn to coaching centers if they were imparted lessons properly by their institutions.

"If that happens, guardians will no longer send their wards to coaching centers, thus doing away with additional expenses for their children’s education," he added.

He welcomed the government decision, saying: "The ban should not only be imposed on guidebooks, but on coaching centres too-- all at the same time." 

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