Female mentor at madrasahs to prevent sexual harassment

SM Abbas
Published : 07:30, May 25, 2019 | Updated : 18:47, May 25, 2019

Madrasa students at classroomThe education ministry has decided to appoint a female teacher as a mentor in all madrasahs across the country to prevent sexual harassment, and violence against women and children.

The decision made after the Bangladesh Madrasah Education Board’s (BMEB) guidelines to all madrasahs across Bangladesh following the tragic death of Feni madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi.

BMEB Chairman Prof AKM Saif Ullah said: “The decision has been taken to prevent sexual harassment and violence against women and children in madrasah throughout the country.”

A five-member committee has been formed in all madrasahs to appoint a female teacher.

“No teacher will be allowed call or summon any student in their room,” said Ullah adding teachers will have to cooperate the committee to address any issue raised by any student.

 “Only convener of the committee will have the authority to listen in, talk over student’s problem,” he said.

The education ministry directed deputy commissioners and education officers in all districts to monitor implementation of the decision.

According to education ministry guidelines, all educational institutions including madrasah have been asked to teach students basic knowledge on gender related issues and reproductive health in line with textbooks.

Students of Madrasah, in particular, have been advised to report on any misconduct or allegation using free helpline 109, said the guidelines.

Following the High Court order issued in 2009, the madrasa board had already ordered all institutions to form five-member anti-sexual harassment committees.

Ten years after the HC order, the authorities concerned, on Apr 24, sent a set of guidelines to all madrasashs across the country to ensure female students’ security, safe transportation, and to prevent sexual harassment at the institutions.