Three teachers suspended for ‘refusal’ to accept award from state minister

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The primary education department on Thursday suspended three teachers of government primary schools for speaking in an interview against receiving medals from the state minister for education instead of from the prime minister, during the National Primary Education Week-2023.

Two of the suspended teachers were previous award-holders. The matter has created a stir among the teachers.

The primary education department said giving interview regarding their ‘refusal’ to accept the awards from state minister and encouraging others to also to give interviews, violated the discipline. This goes against the discipline of the government employees. That is why this action has been taken.

However, one of the suspended teachers Khairun Nahar of Mohammadpur Government Primary School in Dhaka told Prothom Alo, “I did not give any statement refusing to take the award from the state minister. I took the award from him. I just expressed my wish to have received the award from the prime minister.”

She informed Prothom Alo that she was chosen as the best teacher at the national level in 2019.

Two other suspended teachers are Md. Shafiqul Islam (awarded), head teacher of Islampur Government Primary School in Baliakandi in Rajbari and Md. Mahbubur Rahman, an assistant teacher at Hinda Government Primary School in Khetlal, Joypurhat.

Shafiqul Islam declined to talk about the matter when Prothom Alo contacted him over phone on Thursday night.

It was learned from the order of the primary education department regarding taking action against the three teachers, that rehearsal of the National Primary Education Week-2023 and Shiksha Padak (education medal) 2019 and 2022 programme was held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka on 11 March.

When the parents and a few teachers who were present there came to know that state minister for primary and mass education Zakir Hossain will hand over the medals, they demanded that the award be handed over by the prime minister. Some of the teachers and guardians spoke in interviews and encouraged others to speak in interviews too. There were video clips of the incident as well. The Director General of the Directorate of Primary Education, Shah Rezwan Hayat, in March ordered to take punitive action against the people involved with the incident. The DG ordered this at a coordination meeting of the DPE.

It was learned that the district primary education offices of Dhaka, Rajbari an Joypurhat issued the suspension orders.

Dhaka district primary education officer Md. Abdul Aziz confirmed to Prothom Alo about the suspension of assistant teacher Khairun Nahar of Mohammadpur Government Primary School in Dhaka.

When Prothom Alo contacted the state minister for primary and mass education Zakir Hossain, he asked to talk to the public relations officer of the ministry in this regard.

The ministry’s public relations officer Mahbubur Rahman said he would learn the matter in detail and talk about that on Sunday.