Member of Parliament Order? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 14, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 14, 2010

Member of Parliament Order?

THE MPO list prepared by the relevant committee was announced after having met all the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Education. Nurul Islam Nahid is a minister whose integrity is beyond doubt. One can bet his life on it. One source said: "Nahid does not understand the pulse of AL politics as he came from a different party."
Here lies the problem of lawmakers getting involved in such affairs. In making a MPO list the "pulse of AL has to be understood." This happened before, too, when another coalition government was in power. Then where is the "change?" The MPO list is not prepared on the basis of any political party's "pulse." Rules should be followed strictly and that is what the education ministry did. Rules generally take care of the quality of education in those schools. Quality is important, and not the "pulse" of any ruling party.
The MPO list prepared by a ministry cannot be suspended 72 hours after its announcement. This questions the very status of a ministry; it could be any ministry headed by a full minister. However, if there are new demands which meet the set rules then such demands can be taken care of by adding some more schools to the already announced list. Here, of course, new funds are to be released from other areas of the ministry, which could be done only by the education minister himself.
The prime minister was right in asking education minister to review (review could also mean adding some new good ones if funds could be made available) the list keeping in view the requests of some lawmakers. But her order/decision was reportedly met with strong opposition from some ministers and lawmakers. This was unfortunate. She then asked the education advisor to "prepare a fresh list after reviewing the announced one (DS May 11)."
The better course would have been to again ask the education minister to do it as he is the one with conferred authority to do the work of the ministry. He could, however, review in consultation with the education advisor as the advisor can only advise. Here again the authority of the education minister stands somewhat dented, which the prime minister, with her strong decision making mind, could have avoided.
However, the education minister agreed to go by the decision of the premier.
Any addition of schools should be publicly announced, with the details of the quality of the schools and whether they meet the rules of the ministry of education. It is time for the government to be firm in its approach to the issues of public interest, and education is certainly of special interest to the people of this country.

Muslehuddin Ahmed is Founder Vice Chancellor of North South University and President of Educational Quality Assurance Foundation (EQAF).

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