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Unauthorised ‘Peace’ schools to go

  • Published at 07:32 pm August 2nd, 2016
  • Last updated at 09:32 am August 3rd, 2016
Unauthorised ‘Peace’ schools to go
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid recently requested the Home Ministry to close those schools immediately, a ministry statement said Tuesday. In another order, the ministry has asked the Dhaka Education Board to cancel the approval given to Peace International School at Lalmatia for its involvement in “controversial activities.” This English-medium school was founded by Abdullah Zaman, its managing director, and Mufti Kazi Md Ibrahim, its principal, in October, 2011. In the beginning, the PIS had two campuses – at Lalmatia and Uttara. Earlier this year, the Uttara campus was bought by another person and it was renamed as Leader’s School. Ibrahim, also an anchor of Peace TV which was banned in Bangladesh in mid-July, is believed to be one of the key players behind establishment of Peace schools. Intelligence sources say these schools preach radical views and engage the students in different activities of Peace TV, run by controversial India-based televangelist Zakir Naik. The exact number of Peace schools across the country could not be known immediately. After the PIS, more people later established schools in Dhaka and elsewhere bearing the title “Peace” that include Invite Peace School and College, Peace Islamic School, Peace School and Peace School and College. Some of these are run under a company named Invitos Peace Limited, owned by a former president by Islami Chhatra Shibir, says an intelligence report. Only a handful of the schools are linked to each other or follow the same curriculum. In most of the cases, the school authorities used the word “peace” and the logo of Peace TV for larger publicity. Among the issues that triggered controversy is that the Peace school students do not perform the national anthem as they are taught that it is “un-Islamic.” The authorities of several schools told the investigators that their teachers had been trained by the followers of Zakir Naik who came from India. The government has been monitoring the activities of these schools since December last year after allegations were raised about teaching unauthorised subjects and books. It is also concerned about the schools’ involvement with Jamaat-e-Islami as the intelligence sources confirm that a part of their income goes to the party fund. Mahbubur Rahman, chairman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, said they would take necessary action to shut down peace schools after getting official order from the Education Ministry.