National Education Commission, a beacon of hope
Finally, the ministry of education is going to form a National Education Commission like the Public Service Commission (PSC). This commission will appoint non government teachers of secondary, higher secondary, technical and madrasa level in a transparent and impartial manner. Different media report has stated that this commission is being formed to bring transparency and impartiality in the recruitment process of non government teachers. Moreover, it is expected that the recruitment complexity will be lessened.
A nine-member committee has been constituted to formulate the legal framework for the formation of this commission according to the National Education Policy 2010. The committee has been asked to create a legal framework for the formation of the commission by March 25, 2021. The commission will appoint teachers in non government educational institutions like the Public Service Commission. After the formation of the commission, the non government teacher registration and certification authority (NTRC) will be abolished.
The commission will appoint teachers of all levels, including the principal, vice-principal, headmaster and assistant headmaster of non government educational institutions. Candidates will be directly recruited on the basis of educational qualification and merit through examination. In this system, non-cadres applicants of PSC have recently been appointed as assistant teachers in various government schools.
Once there was an anarchic situation in the non-government teacher recruitment process. Due to the absolute dominance of the governing body in the recruitment process of teachers, real meritorious applicant did not get the opportunity to be appointed as teachers. The teacher recruitment process had been brought under the purview of the NTRC to free it from the monopoly of the governing body and the pressure of the influential.
The NTRCA was formed so that meritorious applicants could be recruited as teachers. Until 2015, the teacher recruitment process was carried out by the NTRCA, but the governing body of the educational institution had some power and they started abusing it. Therefore, since 2015 NTRCA has been given full powers to recruit non government teachers. But it is very unfortunate that the teachers recommended by NTRCA have to face various complications while joining the educational institution. Many candidates recommended by NTRCA could not join their nominated institutions and they lodged written complaints to NTRCA. Meanwhile, thousands of job seekers are stuck in the recruitment complication of non-government teachers. Although the final results of the 15th NTRCA examination were published, more than 11,000 candidates were not recruited. Their recruitment process has been postponed due to a lawsuit over the 16th exam. Due to this complexity and delay in the recruitment process, many job seekers will lose their job age limit.
The NTRCA has lost much of its importance due to its failure to publish regular public notices for teacher recruitment. The recruitment process has been postponed for a long time and as a result NTRCA has been the victim of various forms of criticism. Due to the closure of the recruitment process, many non government educational institutions have appointed teachers according to their own policy. In order to join as a teacher in a non-government educational institution, it is mandatory to pass the registration test. NTRCA has completed a total of 16 registration exams and many candidates have passed but they are still suffering from unemployment.
According to the NTRCA Act, there is a provision to give results within 60 days of taking the written test. But due to various complications, it was not possible for NTRCA to publish the results on right time. 2 lakh 28 thousand candidates participating in the 16th registration test have been waiting for a long time. The number of applicants for the 17th Teacher Registration Examination is 11 lakh but the examination has been postponed due to Covid-19.
There are more than 80,000 vacancies for teachers in about 20,000 educational institutions in the country. But the recruitment process of non-government teachers has been postponed for the last two years. However, the recruitment of teachers will start soon by publishing a public notification which is confirmed by the education minister.
NTRCA has appointed teachers in two phases by issuing two public notifications. The recruitment process was taken away from the governing body in 2015 after allegations of irregularities, corruption and nepotism in the teacher recruitment process. At present, the governing body of educational institutions does not have the power to appoint teachers and they can only issue teacher appointment letters.
Candidates who have passed the teacher registration process organized by NTRCA have filed cases at various times which has resulted in stagnation of recruitment process. Many believe that after the formation of the National Education Commission for the recruitment of non-government teachers, the complexities in the recruitment process will be removed.
The news of formation of National Education Commission for recruitment of non-government teachers has given hope to frustrated job seekers. Unemployment is a major problem in Bangladesh. There is shortage of teachers in various educational institutions in Bangladesh. If the non-government teacher recruitment process can be expedited, many candidates will get jobs and the teacher crisis will be eliminated. Job seekers will have high expectations from this commission as they have been waiting for a long time and are suffering from depression.
The commission should take initiative so that the talented youth want to come into the teaching profession. Resolving the existing complexities in the non-government teacher recruitment process will be a major challenge for this commission. It is hoped that the commission will be able to take the non-government teachers' recruitment process forward impartially ignoring any kind of pressure from the influential people.
Everyone believes that the National Education Commission will play a vital role in overcoming stagnation, mismanagement and inconsistency in the non-government teacher recruitment process.
The writer is an Assistant Professor, BAF Shaheen College Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment