Inspection and monitoring of education in 24 districts of the country are being hampered as the post of District Education Officer (DEO) has been lying vacant there for long.
The DEO is the key officer at the district level for supervision, implementation of development plans, inspection and monitoring of educational activities of the government. But such activities are being hampered due to the absence of the key officer in 24 out of the total 64 districts.The 24 districts are Brahmanbaria, Laxmipur, Sylhet, Habiganj, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Shariatpur, Rajbari, Naogaon, Bogura, Chapainawabganj, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Chattogram, Bhola, Kishoreganj, Jamalpur, Netrokona, Sherpur, Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachhari, Noakhali and Bandarban.
Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education, said, “It is unfortunate that there is no education officer in almost half of the districts of the country during the time when the government is giving top priority to education.”
The educationist also said, “The most important work in education sector is monitoring and supervision at the field level. If this cannot be done properly, it is not possible to implement any plan regarding the education.”
According to the sources, various works at the district education offices are being carried out through the assistant district education officer due to the absence of DEO. But the post of ADEO is also vacant in few districts.
The posts of both DEO and ADEO are vacant for long at Shariatpur district education office. Due to absence of officials in both posts, principal of a government high school is now working as an acting DEO at the district education office.
Staff of the office said they are facing various problems due to the absence of the key officer. Even, textbooks distribution on the first day of the New Year would be hampered as the DEO of each district looks after textbooks distribution.The Directorate of Secondary and Higher education (DSHE) is the authority to appoint the district education officer and give postings to them.
When asked, DSHE Director (secondary) Prof Belal Hossain said, “There is no officer to be promoted to the post of DEO at the moment. So we cannot fill up the posts through promoting anyone.” According to the recruitment rules, the government appoints DEO in two ways. Of them, 20 percent DEOs are appointed through Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) examination while 80 percent posts are filled up through giving promotion to assistant district education officers (ADEOs).
At present, 20 percent posts have been filled through PSC. But the remaining 80 percent posts are not being filled through promotion. Those who are currently working in the post of ADEO have been promoted to this post in 2018. Their four-year feeder service will be completed in 2021 to become DEO.
Seeking anonymity, a teacher leader said the post of principal of a government secondary school and the post of district education officer are of equal grade. They are getting salary in the sixth grade of the national salary scale.
The DSHE can easily fill up these posts by appointing the head teachers as District Education Officers, he added.
Meanwhile, three posts of regional deputy director (DD) out of nine DSHE’s regional offices are lying vacant at present. As the DD is the chief of the DSHE’s regional office, activities at the three regional offices are being hampered due to the absence of the officers.
Both posts of Chattogram regional deputy director and district education officer are lying vacant. Principal Debabrato Das of Chattogram Collegiate School is now working as acting officer at both posts along with his principal post.
The MPO registration of private schoolteachers and staff is being carried out under Regional Deputy Director of every regional area. After checking and sorting the MPO registration documents, the DEO sends them to the regional office.
Sufferings of the teachers and staff have increased as there has been no official concerned in these posts for a long time.