Draft Education Act: All guidebooks to be banned
The education ministry is set to finalise the draft of the Education Act soon, keeping a provision for imposing ban on printing, publishing, and marketing notebooks and guidebooks.
The draft act stipulates that teachers will not be able to give private tuitions to students of their own institutions. It also seeks to ban corporal punishment for schoolchildren and mental torture by teachers.
Speaking to this newspaper after attending a virtual meeting yesterday afternoon, top education officials said the work on the draft by the ministry was in the last stage.
"We will take a short time to bring changes in the sentences and words of the draft if there is any last-minute changes," said a top education ministry official.
"We will send the draft to the Bangla Bhasha Bastobyan Kosh Committee under the public administration ministry to improve its language. And the draft will be also sent to a committee of Cabinet Division that usually goes through the draft before placing it before cabinet," Mahbub Hossain, secretary of Secondary and Higher Education Division, told The Daily Star.
Education Minister Dipu Moni, Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury and top officials of the education, and primary and mass education ministries attended the meeting
According to officials, the draft law makes printing, publishing, and marketing of notebooks and guidebooks punishable by a maximum imprisonment of three years or a maximum fine of Tk 5 lakh or both.
It also states that if a teacher forces students of his institution to buy notebooks and guidebooks, actions will be taken against him or her.
However, the government will allow publication of supplementary books and education aid books only after approval from the authorities concerned.
If a teacher of an educational institution forces students to purchase supplementary books and education aid books, it will be considered as misconduct and disciplinary actions will be taken against him or her, says the draft law.
The draft act also said a school may arrange additional classes for weaker students, subject to written consent of the parents. This classes will be held either before or after school hours in line with rules or policies framed by the government or a circular or executive order.
Coaching centres for helping jobseekers, admission seekers or improving English proficiency will remain out of the purview of the law, said top education ministry officials.
The draft law also says no teacher can give corporal punishment or harass any student of the educational institution concerned mentally. Violation of this provision will be considered as misconduct and administrative disciplinary actions can be taken against the teacher concerned.
Students' tuition fees in all public and private educational institutions at the higher education level will be determined with the approval of the government or government-appointed authorities (such as University Grants Commission).
The education ministry took the initiative to prepare an education law in line with the Education Policy of 2010. The policy recommended formulation of a law for proper implementation of the policy.
It also asked a subcommittee of the education policy implementation committee to draft a law on January 26, 2011.
In December 2016, the education ministry sent a draft of the Education Act to the Cabinet Division. But it took the draft act back following huge criticism as the ministry gave legitimacy to coaching and private tuition in the name of "shadow education".