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Bangladesh - Education - March 18, 2024

Trade by opening branch campuses

Renowned edu institution

Staff Correspondent : Apart from the main campus of Manipur School and College in Mirpur of the capital, there are four more branch campuses. However, although the main campus is approved by the Education Board, the branch campuses are not. The branch campuses are running under the same management committee. While there is one branch head for each branch, there is only one institution head. The negative activities of the institution were recently discussed in the National Parliament. Not only Manipur School and College, many educational institutions like Ideal, Vikarunnisa, Southpoint in the capital are also running illegal branch campuses.
Many institutions have again opened campuses across the country. Among these institutions there are several other institutions including Shaheen School and College based in Tangail. Admission trade is opening school-college branches with the same name in different parts of the country like chainshops.
It is alleged that branch campuses were opened by exploiting the reputation of the institution. However, despite the increase in the number of students, questions and complaints about the quality of education in these institutions are increasing. In such a situation, the Ministry of Education has taken the initiative to stop the opening of branch campuses.
In the educational institutions which have already opened multiple branch campuses like Vikarunnisa Noon School and College, Motijheel Ideal School or Manipur Higher Secondary School, those branches will be developed as independent educational institutions. The management committee and head of the institution of these independent educational institutions will be separate.
Those concerned say that basically these branch campuses are being opened without permission to do business by admitting students illegally. Apart from this, another purpose is to trade by hiring teachers and employees in exchange for money. Several complaints have been submitted to the Ministry of Education regarding these issues. As a result, the manpower structure and MPO policies of private educational institutions (schools and colleges) are being revised to implement the new initiative on behalf of the ministry.
Vikarunnisa Noon School was established in 1952 at Bailey Road in the capital. Currently, apart from the main campus at Bailey Road in Vikarunnisar, branch campuses are being opened at Bashundhara, Azimpur and Dhanmondi and educational programs are being conducted. In total, the number of students of the educational institution is about 25 thousand. The renowned educational institution has been running for two decades under the Acting Principal. Again, the issue of appointing the current acting principal was brought up to the court.
Apart from irregularities in admissions, financial irregularities, there are various complaints against the authorities of this educational institution. Recently, a senior teacher of a branch campus of the institution has been temporarily suspended for allegedly sexually harassing female students. Last year, another teacher of another branch campus was also accused of sexually harassing a student of that branch.
The acting principal of Vikarunnisa Noon School and College, Keka Roy Chowdhury, was not available for comment.
A primary school was established in Motijheel in 1965 under the name ‘Ideal School’ at the initiative of the residents of Motijheel AGB Colony. Later secondary and higher secondary levels were introduced in the educational institution. At present, apart from the main campus of the educational institution at Motijheel, educational programs are being conducted at the Banshri and Mugda branch campuses of the capital. In the beginning, many complications arose as the Mugda branch campus was opened without the approval of the proper authorities of the government. Later, however, the matter was resolved by the high-level intervention of the government. Currently, the number of students of the institution is about 28 thousand. There are more than 700 teachers and officials. Once upon a time, the ‘admission trade’ was a hot topic around the school. However, since the year 2021, after the admission of students through lottery under the government management, this complaint has reduced a lot. Apart from this, the coaching business of the institute’s teachers has become quite normal. Recently, the unethical actions of Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed, a member of the management committee, have tarnished the image of the institution.
Ziaul Kabir Dulu, president of the Parents’ Unity Forum, said, “There is trade in admissions in branch campuses and trade in teacher recruitment. There is a coaching business. And under the cover of the coaching trade, sexual harassment of female students goes on. Prestigious educational institutions have started losing their high standards of education.
Manipur High School was established in 1969 in Mirpur area of the capital. There is no end to complaints about the educational institution. The negative activities of the school were recently discussed in the National Parliament. The institution is conducting educational programs in four branches including the main campus. The institution has about 37 thousand students. There are more than 800 teachers. There are about two hundred and fifty employees.
Sadia Nargis, the head of a branch of Manipur School and College, said to the light of time, “The rules that the government will make, that must be done.” But still no instructions have come in this regard. The issue of making the branch an independent educational institution is not a single matter, the governing body, teacher representatives will decide. The process of appointing a new principal is underway.
Convener of Inter-Education Board Coordination Committee and Chairman of Dhaka Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Professor Tapan Kumar Sarkar said in the light of time, “Educational institutions are indulging in a kind of trade through branch campuses. A decision has been made to make the branch campuses independent educational institutions. An order in this regard is expected to be issued soon.

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