The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) yesterday directed all school and college authorities to set up an anti-sexual harassment committee in line with a 2009 High Court order.
“We have asked authorities of all schools and colleges to form an anti-sexual harassment committee,” DSHE Director (administration) Shahedul Khabir Chowdhury told The Daily Star.
The DSHE came up with the directive after the death of an Alim examinee of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa, Nusrat Jahan Rafi, who lost her battle for life five days after she was set afire on April 6. The incident sparked outrage all over the country.
A group of five people set the 18-year-old girl on fire allegedly for refusing to withdraw a sexual assault case against the principal of the madrasa Siraj Ud Doula late last month.
DSHE officials said Shahedul signed the order on Thursday and notified school and college authorities yesterday.
Educational institutions need to form a five-member committee and will publish information regarding its activities on their own websites, said the circular.
The HC on May 14, 2009, in response to a writ petition, ordered the formation of a committee at every educational institution and workplace to deal with complaints of sexual harassment, conduct investigations and make recommendations.
DSHE officials said they took the decision as they were in the dark about how many schools and colleges had formed such committees after the HC order in 2009.