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The government yesterday backtracked from the move to reserve parliamentarians' quota for admission in private schools in the face of public and media criticism.
“Considering all the aspects, we think it will not be right to keep separate quota (in the next year's admission policy) for lawmakers,” said Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid at a press briefing in his ministry in the afternoon.
“We sought the prime minister's opinion, as the proposal involved 350 members of parliament. She thinks it would not the right and our decision (to drop the provision) is correct,” Nahid added.
The lawmakers' quota would not be introduced for the admission in public schools either, Education Secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury told The Daily Star over the phone last night.
The proposal for lawmakers' quota in enrolment in non-government schools, made by the parliamentary standing committee on education ministry, drew huge flak after the education secretary following a meeting on admission policy on Sunday had told the media that the percentage of seats under the lawmakers' quota would be finalised the following day.
The decision, however, remained stalled. Meanwhile, two rights organisations -- Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, and Ain o Salish Kendra --on Monday challenged the government move in the High Court.
The education ministry has also dropped the proposal for introducing quota for the children of officials of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) and all education boards, and non-resident Bangladeshis.
However, the existing 5 percent quota for freedom fighters' children and grandchildren, 2 percent for the physically disabled, and 2 percent quota for the children of education ministry officials and employees have been kept in the amended policy.
The children of teachers, employees and managing committee members of a private school will get the quota benefit in the very school subject to obtaining pass mark in the admission test.
Asked about the reason for keeping quota for education ministry employees, Nahid said it was because all other ministries have some facilities for their employees, but those of his ministry had nothing but this.
The education minister said they had brought a few amendments to the policy.
The admission fee will remain the same. In Dhaka metropolis, the schools enjoying partial monthly payment order (MPO) can charge at best Tk 8,000 in admission fees, session charge, and other fees for Bangla version and Tk 10,000 for English version.
Each admission form of these schools will be Tk 200.
The schools enjoying MPO for all teachers in the capital can charge at best Tk 5,000 for all the fees during admission. The price of the admission form will be Tk 150.
Admission form for all the other schools across the country will be Tk 100.
According to the policy, lottery system is mandatory for the beginners while admission tests will be held for enrolment in class-II to VIII.
However, the test for class-II and III will now be held on 50 marks unlike last year's 100 marks, said the minister.
The written test for other classes will be on 100 marks and enrolment in class-IX will be based on the results of Junior School Certificate and Junior Dakhil Certificate exams.