The Ministry of Education has issued a press release claiming that several news articles published since Sunday had misinterpreted Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid’s speech.
The release, issued on Monday, pointed to news stories that suggested that the minister is recommending taking bribes, or that the cabinet members indulge in corruption, and said Nahid's comments are taken out of context.
Parts of the education minister's speech as the chief guest at a laptop and certificate distribution ceremony in the capital on Sunday caused media uproar and widespread criticism on social media.
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“I don’t have the guts to ask you not to take bribes, it would be meaningless."
“It is not only the officials who are thieves, but also the ministers. I am a thief too. This is the way of the world. But it has to be changed,” he said during the speech.
According to the ministry, during his speech, the minister pointed out the various irregularities at the Directorate of Inspection and Audit (DIA) eight years ago, saying corruption was commonplace at that time.
He also said the situation has changed and improved to a great extent due to the introduction of peer inspection and digital monitoring system, the release said.
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The minister, mentioning the government’s zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and bribery, said a DIA official was nabbed for corruption in recent times.
But the stories published in several newspapers failed to understand the comparison and took Nahid's comments out of context, which is a matter of great regret, confusion and contradictory with the current policy of the Education Ministry, the release said.
Meanwhile, BNP’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi accused the education minister of telling the students that it is okay to be involved in corruption.