Dhaka, Bangladesh
Commercial coaching banned

Commercial coaching banned

HC issues order prohibiting out-of-class teaching by school-college teachers

News Report Commercial coaching of students by teachers of all schools and colleges is banned as the High Court Thursday endorsed the government guidelines to this effect. An HC bench comprising Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil announced the verdict deeming the government rules "legal". Academics and guardians who pay a high cost as coaching fees hailed the prohibition, but urged the government to ensure proper classroom teaching and approved tuition at schools and colleges so that students don't get in difficulties in preparing lessons. The judicial decision followed hearings on separate writ petitions filed against the guidelines from 2012. Teachers are barred from tutoring private students of their own institution, as per the rules set by the government. "The head of an educational institution can allow teachers to tutor maximum 10 students from other institutions," says the rule. In such cases, the teachers will have to submit to their bosses the names, roll numbers and other information of the students they want to teach. The guidelines made for the teachers of all government and private schools and colleges will limit their income. As the Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC recently conducted drives on a number of institutions in a crackdown on truant teachers and private coaching, the High Court observed in the order that the ACC has the authority to investigate such coaching centres but it "must make a priority list of the allegations before investigation because the commission lacks manpower". Lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan represented the ACC while Deputy Attorney-General Md Mokhlesur Rahman argued for the state and Tania Amir argued for the petitioners at the hearings. Mokhlesur said, "The High Court order has made effective the 'Guidelines-2012 to stop teachers from doing coaching business in educational institutions'." Classroom teaching debacle results in a boom in 'coaching commerce'. This common opinion found an echo in a court observation recently on writ petitions seeking a ban on commercial coaching centres. The observations came the same day when coaching centres across the country came under a month-long shutdown by government order in a bid to prevent question leaks and other unfair means in the upcoming SSC and equivalent examinations, beginning on February 2. Reports say coaching by teachers and commercial coaching centres has spelt a doom on teaching in classrooms in most educational institutions, including the reputed ones in the capital city, Dhaka. All students are compelled to go to coaching centres, even without attending classes, for lack of adequate teaching at schools and colleges. "There are seen commercial ads in the names of various teachers in Dhaka city even," says a spot account of what is described as 'kerb market' of education. As such, in the eye of the court, it came out to be a 'new crime'. The High Court had fixed February 7 as the fresh date for its orders on the writ petitions. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission Iqbal Mahmood on the same day made sudden visits to a number of schools in Chattogram city and found most of their teachers absent. "No one will be allowed to play with the academic life of our children. Education has to be ensured in classrooms at any cost," an irked ACC chief had told reporters during the visit. If required, he warned, the ACC would enforce section 166 of the Penal Code if anyone tried to harm the future of the next generation. (Inputs taken from agencies)

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