The top positions at the Directorate of Primary Education is held by people with no experience of teaching and how to run primary schools, which is hampering the overall progress of primary education, according to government primary teachers.
They made the observation at a Bangladesh Primary Teachers’ Association (BPTA) conference held at the Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh auditorium in the capital yesterday. Around 4,000 teachers from across the country attended the conference.
“The top posts are filled by people who are inexperienced in teaching … as a result, the standard of primary education is not improving,” said Moazzem Hossain Manik, senior vice-president of Bangladesh Primary Teachers’ Association (BPTA).
The participants proposed that government teachers get promoted gradually to take up the high positions in the directorate.
At present, administrative cadres are at the top posts of the directorate, including the director general and additional director general. There are no provisions for the government teachers to get promoted to those posts as well.
Manik also said there should be a provision so that the primary teachers do not remain in the same post for a long time.
Many teachers said even though the pay structure of government primary teachers had improved in recent years, the qualified and talented youth were still reluctant to take up teaching at the primary level as a profession.
They said the reluctance was mainly due to a lack of progression in the profession.
“This profession is often used as a transition. Talented youths take up this profession for a while, but leave it when they get other suitable jobs,” Manik explained.
He also said there was no provision for the promotion of assistant teachers in the current system.
“As such, a teacher remains in one post throughout his or her career. This is inhumane. It is impossible to concentrate on work when someone is in the same post for 20-25 years,” he said.
Abul Bashar, president of BPTA, reiterated Manik’s statement.
“It is a matter of concern that many talented people do not continue in primary-level teaching due to a lack of career progression. The government must address this. Otherwise, improving the standard of primary education will not be possible,” he said.
Creating a career ladder for the government primary teachers has been a longstanding demand of teachers and educationists.
The teachers also complained that the decision to upgrade the status of primary school headmasters has not been implemented yet.
Speaking at the conference, Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman said the government was working to meet all the demands of the primary teachers.
He, however, urged the teachers to work to improve the quality of education.
“The standard of primary education is still not satisfactory. We have to work hard to take it to the satisfactory level,” he said.
He said the ministry had issued a gazette notification for the status upgrade of primary school headmasters and it would be implemented soon.