Bangladesh education policy poses problems for Catholic teachers

(UCAN) Prominent Catholic educators in Bangladesh have expressed concern over challenges posed by the government’s national education policy for Church-run education institutions in the country.

“The government considered various aspects while formulating the National Education Policy 2010 and Church-run schools like all other institutes are obliged to follow,” said Holy Cross Brother Harold Bijoy Rodrigues, secretary of Bangladesh’s Catholic Education Board. “Yet, we are facing some challenges regarding school management, recruitment of teachers and infrastructure development.”

Christians in Bangladesh are highly regarded for their outstanding contribution in education. The Catholic Church in particular runs one university, eight colleges and 580 primary and high schools, providing education to some 100,000 students — most of them non-Christians.

The Bangladesh government runs a Monthly Pay Order program to pay for teacher’s salaries at registered schools and colleges. Schools entitled to this program are obliged to follow government rules on the appointment, promotion and transfer of staff.

Brother Rodrigues said that the education board and the church’s Formation of Youth and Teachers Program jointly organized a seminar last month for 91 Catholic education institute heads and teachers to discuss and outline long-term plans to deal with the effects of government interference.

The seminar decided to conduct a comprehensive study on the impact of the national policy on church institutions and how to maintain Catholic principles. [More]