People say that education is not happening in the country because I am not in the Ministry of Education

Nurul Islam Nahid served as Education Minister in the Cabinet for two terms of the Awami League government. As much as he was criticized at that time, he also received praise for some good deeds. He lost his ministry after the election of the 11th National Assembly. However, people still ‘recognize’ him when he goes out on the street, he said.

Nurul Islam Nahid said, ‘Civilian (ordinary) people of the country still recognize me when they go out on the streets. They come forward and talk on the way. Yesterday, I was walking on the sidewalk towards Farmgate. A curry seller came forward and said, Sir, why did you leave the Ministry of Education? Without you ministry, there is no education in the country, our children are not able to study well.’

He said, ‘Many people tell me this. The thing is that I want to leave the ministry, I can come again if I want! It is actually human desire. They feel that I have harmed education by leaving the ministry. In fact, it is not the case that I have caused damage or that someone else who is performing the duty has caused damage.’

He said these things while participating as a guest in the ‘Challenged Student Conference’ organized at Krishibid Institute of the capital on Tuesday (June 11). The event was organized by the non-governmental development organization Ganasaksharata Abhiyan with more than two hundred students, parents and teachers who had failed in the SSC examination this year.

People say that education is not happening in the country because I am not in the Ministry of Education

Nurul Islam Nahid, referring to the complaints of the parents about the new curriculum, said, “When any change comes, various problems arise. Many parents are unhappy because they may not see the positive results of that change immediately. That’s why many complain out of anger. This is a problem. It has to be overcome.’

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Highlighting the role she played in the education of students during her tenure as Education Minister, Nurul Islam Nahid said, ‘Earlier, girls were lagging behind. Didn’t want to come to school. We have taken various steps. I have delivered the stipend. It was not so easy then. We are getting the results now.’

“Until SSC, girls in our country are studying more and getting better results. Where were the girls, and where have they reached now? Ministry of Education was not so big or important ministry before. Girls are considered to be the best by everyone due to their good results. There have been discussions at home and abroad. Then everyone extended their hand of cooperation. Before that, it was not so important.’

Referring to the increasing failure rate, the former education minister said, ‘When I was in charge of the ministry, many students used to fail. Many schools were under different boards, it was 20-30 to 40 hours where no one passed. But this time I am surprised by the information. More than 3 lakh have failed this year. None of the 51 schools passed. There is more shocking news in the results. I am not saying them. Even mentioning it makes me sad. Then understand whether we are advancing or lagging behind. We need to pay more attention to these aspects.’

Rasheda K Chowdhury, Executive Director of Mass Literacy Campaign conducted the program. The guest was writer and educator Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, economist Kazi Khaliquzzman Ahmad, cultural personality and film director Nasir Uddin Yusuf Bachchu, fiction writer Anisul Haque, former education secretary Nazrul Islam Khan, actor and member of parliament Ferdous Ahmed, musician Rahul Anand, Everest winner MA Muhith and others.