Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education has directed all secondary and higher educational institutions and its offices to form sexual harassment prevention committee immediately.
In an urgent circular issued on April 18, which was posted on the directorate’s website, all educational institutions were asked to publish the names of the committee members on their websites.
The circular said that directives were given to form sexual harassment prevention committee at the educational institutions and offices under the directorate following a High Court verdict.
The directives have to be implemented on urgent basis, the circular added.
The circular was signed by the directorate director (college and administration) Md Shahedul Khabir Chowdhury.
Incidents of sexual harassment in educational institutions go unabated across the country as the court order for installing a complaint committee at every institution is not being followed properly.
In a recent incident of sexual harassment followed by an attempt to suppress the incident, Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 18, student of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrassah at Sonagazi upazila in Feni, died on April 10, after a brave fight against the madrassah principal for groping her in his office room on March 27.
On April 6, she was set ablaze nine days after her mother lodged a case accusing the principal of harassing the girl sexually.
In another incident of sexual abuse, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj expelled the chair of computer science and engineering department, Akkas Ali, who allegedly assaulted two female students sexually in January.
A report of child rights organisation Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum revealed that there were 15 reported incidents of rapes by teachers and four allegations of sexual harassment by teachers in the first three months of this year.
According to the United Nations’ 2013 situational analysis on Bangladesh’s women, a staggering 76 per cent of the female students faced incidents of sexual harassment in eight universities of the country.
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