Corruption in education sector coming down: Nahid
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday claimed that corruption has come down significantly in the education sector, thanks to measures taken by his ministry.
He urged the officials of the directorates under the ministry to stand firm against graft and irregularities.
Nahid made the call at a programme organised to distribute laptops among the officials of Directorate of Inspection and Audit (DIA) on the compound of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education in the capital.
About the measures against corruption, he said he held separate meetings with different departments and directorates after assuming office in 2009. At every meeting he pointed out that corruption had to be rooted out.
"All these years, the slogan of our ministry has been 'show zero tolerance to corruption'," he said.
Then he made a reference from the past and said, "When I sat with EED [Education and Engineering Department], I told them that please do good work. My request to you [is] 'you take bribe, but you must keep it within a tolerable limit'. [I said that] because I did not have the courage to tell them not to receive any bribe. It would have been a meaningless remark.
"But now we have made tremendous efforts and brought many changes here.
Due to those changes, he said, hundreds of posts were created and there would be thousands more in future.
Mentioning another programme involving DIA officials a few years ago, the minister said, "The picture then was known to all when I sat with the DIA officials... Envelopes are ready at schools. You go there to do your job [to inspect the school]. Once you go there, they hand over an envelope to you. You return after having meals there and give a report that everything is fine... This was our image to people."
"But now many headmasters and chairmen of school managing committees phone me to tell that officials [of DIA] came to their schools but they did not act like they did in the past. They worked very well. Some of DIA officials told them that they will not even have a cup of tea."
"Except for some isolated incidents, we are very happy that you all have inspired us and worked really hard," he said.
Referring to an official who owns 13 houses in Dhaka, the minister said similar things happened in many places.
"It's not that only the officers are thieves. The ministers are thieves as well. I'm a thief too. This is how things are in this world. We all have to change ourselves," he said.