The authorities have decided to appoint the government primary school teachers to 80 per cent positions of assistant thana education officer (ATEO), with the remaining 20 per cent positions left for open competitive recruitment.
Besides, the qualified teachers will have the opportunity to be appointed to various senior posts in the directorate of primary education.
The facilities have been endorsed in the new recruitment rules formulated for the primary education directorate. A gazette notification was issued in this regard on 13 September.
Previously, some 50 per cent recruitments to the ATEO positions were made from the teachers.
The primary school teachers have welcomed the decision and, at the same time, demanded that the positions should be reserved only for the teachers as departmental candidates.
A head teacher must have three years of working experience to get considered for the ATEO positions, while the required experience for an assistant teacher is 10 years.
According to the new rules, the ATEO positions would be filled up through open recruitment if no qualified candidates are found among the primary school teachers. They feared that the desired outcome may remain elusive had the scope for open recruitment been in place.
Besides, the individuals associated with the primary education sector disputed several decisions of the new rule, including the age limitation for teachers.
The primary and mass education secretary, Farid Ahmed, said there are different types of stakeholders in the primary education sector and they do not feel happy with the decisions at a time. The new recruitment rule, however, maintained a balanced approach regarding all stakeholders.
Currently, there are 114,539 primary schools across the country, where 65,566 are government schools. The primary education directorate under the primary and mass education ministry takes care of the country’s primary education sector.
The very first recruitment rules for primary education were formulated in 1985, while the second one in 1994. The government amended the rules in 2003, but failed to sort out all complexities.
Against such a backdrop, the ministry announced the new recruitment rules for the primary education sector.
Promotion to higher positions
The new rules identified the teachers of government primary schools – head and assistant teachers – as departmental candidates. A head teacher must have three years of working experience to get considered for the ATEO positions, while the required experience for an assistant teacher is 10 years.
The maximum age limit for general candidates is 30 years, but it will be relaxed for the departmental candidates up to 45 years.
However, the ATEO positions can be filled up through open recruitments if no qualified candidates are found among the teachers.
It needs to introduce a designated system only for recruiting teachers to the reserved positions
When it comes to the position of thana education officer (TEO), some 50 per cent positions will be filled up through promotion. Previously, the head teachers of government primary schools had to sit in an examination as departmental candidates for being considered for the position.
The new rules removed the examination system and introduced a direct promotion system to the positions. The ATEOS, assistant education officers, or assistant research officers will be considered for the TEO positions subject to a minimum five-year experience in their respective posts.
Hence, an ATEO, who came from a primary school, will also have the opportunity of being promoted to the position of TEO.
In the further step, the TEOs will have the opportunity to be promoted to the positions of assistant district primary education officer, or assistant district education officer, on seniority-basis. They may even get promotion as the district education officer subject to having required work experience.
Also, there are scopes to become deputy director and director of the primary education directorate through promotions.
However, the teachers believe the process may seem easy on documents, but not in reality.
Sheikh Mohammad Sayeed Ulla, senior joint secretary of Bangladesh government primary school head teachers association, said it is a positive move to fill up 80 per cent ATEO positions by the school teachers. But the aspiring teachers could see their desire for the positions fulfilled had a separate circular system in place for the departmental candidates.
“It needs to introduce a designated system only for recruiting teachers to the reserved positions,” he said.
At the same time, he noted that the maximum age limit for the positions should be lifted. Rather, the teachers should be considered for the positions until the last day of their working life.