Some 1,500 school and colleges across Bangladesh, including the famed Notre Dame College, Holy Cross Girls’ High School and St Joseph Higher Secondary School, run Christian missionaries for decades would now have to follow set rules under a government plan.
The missionary educational institutions were operating until now without any ste government guidelines from admission to examinations.Education ministry sources said the government has almost finalized a specific policy to run the activities of the missionary institutions and a meeting was scheduled for 9 July at the education ministry to finalize the policy.
According to the sources of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), a total of 1,500 educational institutions are running across the country by the Christian church. Of them, 1,200 are kindergartens, 200 primary schools, 12 secondary school and college, 15 technical educational institutions, two Degree colleges and one university.
There is scope of students from all religious alongside the children of Christian community to get admission into the missionary schools and college. But the students of the Christian faith have been getting advantage.
Usually, all the government and non-government educational institutions were operating under a government policy but the missionary institutions have been reluctant to follow that.
The government introduced online admission system for admission at college across the country but the missionary institutions are admitting students at their school and colleges manually.
Recently, the admission process for class XI at the college across the country is running centrally while the students are admitting as per selection of boards.But the scenario is different at Notre Dame College, Holy cross, and St Joseph College, because the missionary institutions are not following government policy. They are admitting students by manual system.
On May 24, last year, DSHE formed a five-member committee to formulating a separate policy for the missionary educational institutions to bring them under the government policy.
The committee collected necessary information from the district education officers across the country through sending letters and finalized a policy for the missionary institutions.
Afterward, the committee submitted the draft policy to the education ministry for taking next course of action. After scrutinizing the draft policy, the ministry almost finalized it.
Earlier, the association of the missionary educational institutions placed 10-point demands to the prime minister Office (PMO) seeking management policy for the institutions.
Following the demands, the government took to formulate a separate policy for running the missionary institutions including school and college in the country.
DSHE officials said the policy was formulated through collecting information regarding the ownership of the missionary institutions, geographical distance, management committee, admission process, teacher-employee transfer system, and talking with the regulatory authorities of the institutions.
The information was also collected from the missionary kindergartens, primary school, junior school, secondary school, high school and Degree College and Vocational institution.
The policy formulating committee also visited five missionary institutions in the capital to know about the management system, curriculum, and teaching system of the institutions. The five institutions are Notre Dame College in Motijheel, Holy Cross Girls’ High School in Tejgaon, St Joseph Higher Secondary School in Mohammadpur, YWCA Higher Secondary Girls’ School and A.G. Church School in Mogbazar.
DSHE director Prof Abdul Mannan said “An initiative was taken to bring the missionary educational institutions under the government rules and a separate policy will be finalized soon.”
On the need for a policy, he said “Law should be equal for all, the missionary institutions are taking part public exams under education boards but they are not following the rules of the board.”