Major shake-up at edn ministry
12:00 AM, February 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:49 AM, February 23, 2018

Major shake-up at edn ministry

30 officials transferred for 'irregularities', 'holding post for years'; question leak on

The government yesterday transferred 30 education ministry officials to different colleges outside Dhaka over allegations of irregularities and for holding the same posts for years.

Yesterday, the education ministry issued two separate orders in this regard with immediate effect.

The ministry took the action in the face of criticism within as many of the officials had been holding the same posts for years. The transfers came at a time when the ministry is getting a lot of flak from different quarters for its failure to plug leaks of question of the ongoing SSC exams.

According to the government rules, an official cannot stay in the same post for more than three years, but some of the officials had been in their posts for five to 10 years, using influence.

Some of them had allegedly been involved in irregularities, two ministry officials told The Daily Star wishing not to be named.

They said another bulk transfer was likely in a few days.

The transfers were made after two officials of the ministry -- Nasir Uddin, upper division assistant of the ministry, and Motaleb Hossain, personal official of Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid -- were allegedly involved in a bribery incident recently.

The 30 officials are of the Bangladesh Civil Service's (BCS) general education cadre.

Eight of them are from Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), six from Dhaka Education Board, nine from National Curriculum and Textbook Board, one from Directorate of Inspection and Audit, and six from other education boards.

Manmatha Ranjan Baroi, deputy inspector of colleges under Dhaka Education Board and former APS of education minister, was among the transferred.

Baroi was earlier moved to the education board from the post of APS over allegations of irregularities.

Others transferred include Dhaka Education Board Inspector for Colleges Ashfaqus Salehin, Inspector for Schools ATM Mainul Hossain, and DSHE Director Md Selim.

In December, graft watchdog Anti-Corruption Commission pointed fingers at officers in the education board and other government officials for incidents of question paper leaks and other irregularities in transfers and promotions of teachers.

Sohorab Hossain, secretary of Secondary and Higher Education Division, could not be reached over phone for comments despite several attempts.

Question papers of 11 of this year's SSC examinations had allegedly been leaked in social media and messenger apps hours before the exams began. Only one exam of Arts group is yet to be held.

This is the largest-ever reported spate of SSC question paper leak that has drawn fierce criticisms from educationists and guardians.

The government took several measures to find the sources of the leaks, but all went in vain.

The education minister also announced Tk 5 lakh bounty for help in catching those involved in leaking.

Arrests had been made almost regularly and cases were filed, but finding the actual culprits behind the leaks remains a far cry.

Failing to check the leaks, the education ministry is now planning to take steps to hold future SSC exams under a new arrangement.

Like previous SSC exams of this year, yesterday's higher mathematics questions were also leaked.

Images of the “Kha” set of the MCQ question paper and their answers were available on social media platforms around 9:00am. They were identical to the actual question papers.

So far, the 11-member inter-ministerial committee formed to investigate the allegations of question paper leak has found only one paper to be “fully” leaked and some others to be “partially” leaked.

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