The Technical and Madrasa Education Division under the Education Ministry has recently sent the draft of 'Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board-2018' law to the Cabinet division for inspection
Madrasa teachers who work under the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) are to be barred from participating in any sort of politics, according to a restriction inserted into a new draft law.
The Technical and Madrasa Education Division under the Education Ministry has recently sent the draft of “Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board-2018” law to the Cabinet division for inspection.
“The 1978 Madrasa Education Ordinance is being transformed and evolved into the new law,” Additional Secretary (madrasa) of Technical and Madrasa Education Division Rawnak Mahmud said. “The final draft has already been sent to the Cabinet division.”
At present, most of the primary, secondary and higher secondary educational institutions, including a major portion of madrasas, are under the MPO, where teachers and employees receive their basic salary from the state treasury.
Before this draft was made, many madrasa teachers have held important posts in Islamic parties, and students would normally follow the political ideology of their teachers.
Their pursuit of politics would stop a portion of teachers from concentrating on teaching in classes - which is why the government drafted the law.
This is the first time private institution teachers will be restricted by law from participating in politics.
In tandem, teachers from government certified religious institutions will also be barred from practicing politics.
The move comes right after the initiative to bring Ebtadayee madrasa under a wage scale.
According to the proposed law, teachers from government institutions for religious studies, forkania madrasas, ebtedayee madrasas, dakhil madrasas and alim madrasas will have restrictions while participating in politics.
Forkania and ebtadayee madrasas have been recognized as equivalent to primary education.
The proposed law further says teachers from the above mentioned institutions will not be able to participate, join or cooperate in political protests.
They will not be able to engage in activities that might create public discontent, chaos in society or enmity between different factions.
No madrasa teachers or employees will be able to take part in election campaigns under the local government - either as a candidate or an activist. Anyone not following these rules will face actions from the government, including dismissal from their jobs.
Sources from the ministry informed, the “Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board- 2018” law has been drafted to manage, regulate, control and develop madrasa education. The draft will be raised in front of the secretary committee related to administrative development, after initial inspection by the Cabinet division.
Madrasa teachers think the government took this decision to stop madrasa students from taking to the streets, as a huge population of young madrasa students will follow their mentors in any activity they undertake.
The madrasa teachers also fear they might lag behind in politics with the imposition of the proposed law.
“There is no need to impose this ban on the teachers who are under the MPO,” Hefazat-e-Islam’s Organizing Secretary Mawlana Azizul Haque Islamabadi said.
“These teachers generally do not take part in politics directly. What they do can be termed as an Islamic movement. If public university teachers can engage in politics, directly or indirectly, madrasa teachers should also have a similar right.”
The organizing secretary added that this law might restrict madrasa teachers from engaging in religious movements, which will hamper the spirit of religious education across the country.
“Hefazat-e Islam, which is considered as one of the biggest Islamist organisation in the country, will not be affected by the law, as the Qawmi madrasa teachers who run the organization do not fall under the MPO,” he said.