New restrictions on privately run KG schools

Masum Billah |

The government is going to turn all the kindergartens into non-government primary schools and no more kindergartens can be further established without the permission of the directorate of primary education and children cannot be compelled to bear huge bags of books. Charging tuition fee as per the sweet will of the owners of the kindergartens cannot be allowed to continue. Certain amount of fee can be charged from the students instead. The existing 57thousand kindergartens have to receive registration from the government and in future no institution will be allowed to run without prior permission of the government.  A proposal that includes these points preceded this line now awaits in the ministry of public administration to go to the cabinet for final approval. In the proposed principle the qualifications of the teachers will be same as that of the government teachers, same type of training and the schools having up to grade five must have six teachers and for teacher appoint circulars must be floated on the national dailies. Then a board will choose the candidates where a representative of district education officer will be included. Teachers’ salary and benefits will be borne by the schools, not the government. Those who will not follow these rules will be brought under law. All nursery, KG, preparatory and other non-government schools teaching up to grade five will come under these principles. Applications to be submitted through upazila/thana education officer. Application fee in the metropolitan and other divisional cities will be Tk 5thousand, in the district level Tk 3 thousand and in the upazila level Tk 2 thousand. After proper scrutinizing, the upazila education officer will send it to the district education officer (DPEO) who will give the permission either to establish institution or to run the existing ones. Within sixty days of submitting the application, all procedures need to be completed. And the duration of this permission will be of one year.  After the completion of this one-year period, for renewal of permission application needs to be submitted within 30 days. And no renewal will be allowed without prior investigation.

We never try to think of easing the administration and making easy-going service for the people. Every year to get permission application should be sent to DPEO through the upazila education officer that means the intending schools will have to satisfy both the officers at upazila and district level. Are our upazila and district level education officers are efficient enough to do these things innovatively and quickly? Have we made them so education friendly, people loving and professionally expert? The entire education administration is swimming in the sea of corruption. Once again, we are trying to extend the way of their corruption? Not only that, when upazilas or district education officers, will show some stubbornness, they might be influenced by the political leaders or other influential people. That means, employing more money. All this money will be collected from the guardians who are already under pressure.  We must think of ensuring quality education and creating education friendly atmosphere, not at the cost of extracting money from the guardians. The way already proposed will further extend the burden of the guardians whose children study in these types of schools.

  After receiving approval the turn for registration will come that calls for Tk 15000 in urban areas, ten thousand in district level  8 thousand in upazila level. To receive registration the number of enrolled students, their presence and how many of them pass will be taken into account. Registration authorities will be deputy director even though approval authority is DPEO and the duration of the registration will be of five years. After receiving the academic approval, registration must be done within one year of it otherwise, approval will be cancelled and the institutions must store the registration certificate. Registration will also be renewed for five years and the application must be submitted within 60 days of completion and the renewal fee will be half of the registration fee. If the registration is cancelled, application can be done again. English medium schools also will have to follow the same procedure. If any institution registered earlier but running academic activities has not yet been done, must come under this rule. If we look carefully, in all the conditions the matter of money plays a big role than quality of education.

In the new rule there will be a management committee in each school which will run the school, not the individuals. On the committee the head teacher, one guardian representative, two entrepreneurs, if founder is not available, UNO or two representatives of DC will be the members. Besides, one head teacher of a nearest government primary school may be included. Upazila education officer will play the role to select the representatives. The elected members can resign to the head of the committee and if any such position becomes vacant, it must be fulfilled within 15 days. After forming committee in this way, without head teacher and teacher representative, one chairman will be elected among other members. If any such school remains attached to intermediate school or secondary school, then a different management committee will be formed. UNO or DC will give approval to this committee and the duration of this committee will be of three years. On this committee, the education officer, head teacher and one guardian representative will be there. The meeting of the committee will be done in the school and every two months there will be a meeting and without the presence of at least three members, the quorum will not be fulfilled. 

The management committee will be responsible for recruiting teachers and staff, fixing their salary and benefit, managing discipline, auditing the income and expenditure of the institutions and developing infra-structure of the school, developing the quality of education and working for environmental development. There will be two funds namely reserve and general. In the reserved fund deposit will be as permanent deposit or in the form of ‘ sanchoypatra’. It will be Tk one lac in the metropolitan area, in the district level Tk 75 thousand, Upazila and municipal areas Tk 50 thousand and in the union level Tk 25 thousand. Without the prior permission of management committee this money will not be withdrawn. In the general fund tuition fee collected from the students and donations from different sources will be stored. The fund will be run by the joint signature of the chairman and member secretary. If anyone wants to establish a school in his/her personal name, Tk five lac will be deposited permanently. And the interest of this money can be spent for the development of the school following due procedure. And the money left from Sanchoypatra, deposit and denotation after meeting the management works can be spent for developing the quality of education and for the welfare of the students, teachers and staff.

The teacher student ration of this type of school will be 1:30. Opening branch with the permission of DPEO will be allowed only when this ratio will be fulfilled and school must be opened till grade five. To fix tuition fee thana/upazila/ district committee must be consulted. In the name of readmission fee, no donation can be taken from the students.  However, to run extra and curricular activities, special facilities and to buy instruments fee can be collected. NCTB books must be taught to the students and no books from a different authority will be allowed.  However, at least two such books can be included. To choose books the retaining capacity of the students must be taken into considerations. Care must be taken so that the selected books don’t contain any chapter or issue that goes beyond our freedom and sovereignty. Different types of co-curricular activities must be there and library, pure water and toilet facilities should be ensured. Education tour, treatment and arrangement for students to play is a must. Once again, I want to salute the authorities for giving thoughts to ensure quality primary education but these dreams and plans should be materialized first in government primary schools that will exert true impact on other institutions.

 Writer: Lead-Education and Research Team and Dainik Amader Barta


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