(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Hitting out at Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid for his remark that not only officials but ministers are ‘thieves' also, major opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) yesterday said it has exposed that the current government is a ‘self-declared thief and corrupt'.
'Education Minister Nahid has sent out a dangerous message for the education sector by urging officials to ‘take bribe at a tolerable limit', BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told reporters.
While distributing laptops among officials at the Directorate of Inspection and Audit (DIA) in Dhaka on Sunday, the education minister reportedly said, 'My request to you is that you take bribe, but you must keep it at a tolerable limit.
Mentioning that bribery is prevalent everywhere, Nahid also said not only the officials, but ministers are ‘thieves' also, and he himself also
‘falls in the same category'.
Reacting to the comment, Rizvi said what the students will learn about honesty and morality if the country's education minister makes such remarks.
He said the minister apparently urged the students to learn how to take bribe at a tolerable level to succeed instead of being a good human being.
The BNP leader said Nahid's comments will encourage students to bow down to corruption, extortion, terrorism, hooliganism and plundering, and indulge in eve-teasing, drug abuse and other misdeeds instead of building an ideal life with moral education.
He also said it now seems that the education minister is working to ‘destroy' the education sector.
Referring to Finance Minister A M A Muhith's remark that the government itself wanted the rice price to increase to some extent, Rizvi said his assertion manifested that the government is playing game with people.
He said the government is increasing the prices of essentials for plundering public money as it is least bothered about people's sufferings. 'The government is mocking with people's misery as it's an unelected and cruel regime.
Mentioning that the finance minister's comment has exposed the government's anti-people attitude, the BNP leader strongly protested and condemned it.
The DIA officials inspect some 36,000 education institutions and submit reports based on which the government takes policy decisions.
'Envelopes are ready at school. When you go to school for inspections they slip the envelope into your hands. You then come back after a sumptuous meal. Finally, you submit a report - everything is fine, he told the officials about their work patterns.
'For God's sake do some good work (for the education sector). My request to you is that you take bribe, but keep it at a tolerable level. It won't work if I tell you not to take bribe, Nahid added.
Nahid, a former leader of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, also spoke about the bribery menace plaguing the
He claimed corruption has dropped during the Awami League government's tenure because of the digitisation of different departments and process of work.
Nahid earlier warned the DIA officials against bribery at the inauguration of online public hearing in 36,000 schools
on August 2.
At the programme, he had admitted that inspectors were ‘still taking bribes from schools'.
'Those who are taking bribes please, leave the profession as long as you have some honour. And, those working well with reputation will be awarded, he had added.
'The people you (DIA) are sending to the educational institutions are demanding money from the school authorities, Secondary and Higher Education Secretary Sohrab Hossain had said at the programme.
He had said many of the institutions ‘enthusiastically' paid bribe to conceal their irregularities and shortcomings. 'But the days have changed. Now, everything has been
automated, he had added.
After a video of the education minister's speech at Sunday's event suggesting that his cabinet colleagues are corrupt went viral on the Internet, the ministry said later: 'Confusion has arisen due to the publication of part of the minister's speech.