In order to improve the quality of education, the management committees of educational institutions should comprise genuine education enthusiasts. This is also what our policy says. But it seems to be on paper only. Most of those in the management committees barely have any connection with education.
In recent times, these committees have also caused many incidents while displaying their authority and power rather than improving the quality of education. Recently, local Awami League leaders and committee chairmen were directly involved in insulting the acting principal of Mirzapur United College in Narail, Swapan Kumar Biswas, according to media reports.
According to Prothom Alo, the number of non-government educational institutions in the country is 35,000, of which 29,164 are enrolled as MPO. Those self-proclaimed education enthusiasts are not interested in non-MPO educational institutions. Their enthusiasm is for MPO registered educational institutions.
Not only United College, but most of the educational institutions in the country have people from the ruling party as the chairmen of the steering committees. There were times when local MPs could be chairmen of as many educational institutions as they wished. In 2009 it was limited to four. That provision was later quashed by the High Court. After that the relatives and followers of the MPs have been made the heads of the educational institutions. When a person becomes a member or president of the management committee of an educational institution based on their political connections, he no longer remains accountable to the institution but to the person under whose influence he got the post.
Earlier the management committee was responsible for all the appointments, promotions and development work of the educational institution. Assistant teachers are now recruited through Non-Government Teachers Registration and Certification Authority (NTRCA). The appointment of principals, headmasters and assistant headmasters of school and colleges is still in the hands of the managing committee. In most cases, appointments for these positions are made through bribery. According to a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) survey, bribes ranging from Tk 300,000 to Tk 1.5 million made are for these appointments.
Qualified candidates will never take jobs with bribes. Those who lack qualifications will take jobs through bribery or political influence. Naturally, these teachers will also try to withdraw the money quickly. Due to these reasons, the headmasters and the steering committee of the educational institution maintain a collusion and they acted as collaborators with each other. Their purpose is not to improve the quality of education or the welfare of educational institutions.
Although the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education has introduced the provision of having minimum bachelor's degree for the post of chairman of the primary school management committee, there is no such obligation at the secondary and college level. Therefore, the person who did not cross the boundaries of schools or colleges, also holds the post of chairman of the management committee of these institutions. Everything is possible in Bangladesh.
Therefore, if we want to stop the deterioration of the quality of education at the secondary and higher secondary levels, we need to stop forming committees based on political connection. It is necessary to form the management committee of the educational institution with the real education enthusiasts.