There have long been allegations of irregularities, corruption and bribery in the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE). Now there are allegations that an office assistant carries out the corruption in the office of the directorate’s director general (DG). But he has now been caught out, forging the signature of the deputy minister for education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, to arrange the transfer of two teachers of a government secondary school.

The office assistant facing these charges, Md Jewel, has been suspended. The attempt was being made to transfer the two teachers in Dhaka to postings outside of Dhaka. The legal wing of the secondary and higher education directorate had advised that measures be taken against them too.

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There are allegations against other officers and employees of the directorate too.

The DSHE DG, Syed Golam Faruk, told Prothom Alo that the accused in this incident has been suspended and the matter is being investigated. If the allegations are proven true, further action will be taken. He said investigations are carried out whenever allegations arise.

There are allegations of corruption concerning the work of this massive number of teachers and employees. There are also allegations of certain officials and employees forming a ‘syndicate’ involved in all sorts of corruption and bribery

DSHE is in charge of the country’s secondary schools and colleges. It has a role in the transfer and promotions of teachers and employees among other responsibilities.

There are 18,598 secondary schools in the country with around 250,000 (2.5 lakh) teachers. And there are around 4,500 colleges. These have around 128,000 teachers (1.28 lakh) teachers. Added to this are a large number of employees.

There are allegations of corruption concerning the work of this massive number of teachers and employees. There are also allegations of certain officials and employees forming a ‘syndicate’ involved in all sorts of corruption and bribery. Teachers coming from far remote areas often have to face all sorts of harassment.

It was amidst all this corruption that the manipulations of the DG office’s assistant Md Jewel recently came to light when he was ‘arranging’ the transfer of Dhaka’s Azimpur Government Girls School and College’s assistant maths teacher KM Mahmudul Hasan to Dhaka’s Government Laboratory High School, and assistant English teacher Fatema Akhter of Cumilla’s Begum Amena Sultan Government Girls High School in Daudkandi to a school in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka. He had resorted to forgery to facilitate these transfers.

He had forged the signature of the deputy minister for education on the application, recommending the transfers. He has allegedly carried out similarly forgeries in the past, but even if they were suspicious, the officials would not say anything as he was the assistant of the DG’s office. But this time one of the officers grew very suspicious and informed his seniors about the matter. The deputy minister was then informed and the matter was revealed. The deputy minister issued directives for action to be taken.

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The office assistant Md Jewel was then suspended under the Government Employees (Discipline and Appeal) Rules. This action was taken on 6 November but was revealed on Sunday.

Md Jewel’s father used to work for a government school in Dhaka. Despite being an office assistant (peon), Md Jewel was ‘very active’, according to sources in DSHE. Attempts were made to contact Md Jewel about the matter but his mobile phone was turned off.

In the meantime, the two teachers for whom this forgery was carried out have been transferred. Dhaka’s Azimpur Government Girls School and College’s assistant maths teacher KM Mahmudul Hasan has been transferred to MKCM Pilot Government High School in Durgapur, Netrakona and assistant English teacher Fatema Akhter of Cumilla’s Begum Amena Sultan Government Girls High School in Daudkandi has been transferred to Gobindapur Government High School in Madhabpur, Habiganj.

This report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir