Chittagong Hill Tracts: Government to Relax Rules for Teacher Recruitment
The Bangladeshi government to lower educational requirements for teachers in Chittagong Hill Tracts to increase access to primary education.
The government will relax the minimum educational requirement for recruitment of primary school teachers in three Chittagong hill districts to solve the shortage of teachers in the area.
Primary and Mass Education Adviser Rasheda K Choudhury told a discussion yesterday [14 July 2008] that the step was being taken since eligible candidates are hard to find in the three hill districts of Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati.
Manusher Jonno Foundation organised the views exchanging meeting on 'Going to School: Challenges in Chittagong Hill Tracts' at the Cirdap auditorium in the city yesterday where the results of a recent survey were also presented.
“The notification will be issued very soon,” Rasheda told the meeting, adding that priority was being given to recruit only indigenous teachers, especially for lower classes, to reduce the dropout rate.
At present, the minimum educational requirement for the post of teachers is graduation level for male candidates and SSC for females.
The adviser also said that 10 residential schools will be set up in the three hill districts by the end of the current year  to increase access to primary education for all ethnic children.
The survey revealed that around 42 per cent students in the area leave school for poverty, 20 per cent for linguistic problems and 12 per cent for poor road communication.
Barrister Devashish Roy, special assistant to the chief adviser on Chittagong Hill Tract Affairs, said many schools don't have enough teachers due to the complicated process of recruitment.
“The drop out rate cannot be reduced without expanding the system to impart lessons in indigenous languages,” he said.
Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said while poverty is the main reason behind the high dropout rate, indigenous children should be taught in their own language in the first phase of primary education, and then gradually be taught other languages like Bangla and English.
“This will help reduce the dropout rate,” she said while moderating the discussion.
Among others, Zabarang Executive Director Mathura Tripura, Manusher Jonno Foundation Director Shamim Imam, Dhaka University professors Sadeka Halim and Mejbah Kamal and Associate Professor Dr Shourav Sikder took part in the discussion.