Prodip Roy, Editor, TLT, 28 July 2018
Firstly, I am starting my writing with an excellent news in the Library and Information sector in Bangladesh. The Librarian and Assistant Librarian posts have been created in Dakhil, Alim, Fazil and Kamil Madrasas. It is undoubtedly good news for Bangladeshi library profession. When the process of recruitment of Librarian and Assistant Librarian to MPO affiliated madrasas will start public relations will be increased in the profession.
I personally applaud to the former and current leaders of the Library Association Bangladesh (LAB) and Bangladesh Association of Librarians, Information Scientists and Documentalists (BALID), including all public and private officials involved in this initiative. Madrasas are widespread educational institutions located all over Bangladesh. They are involved with educating children in rural and urban areas.
Madrasa Education Board was formed in 1978 under the Ordinance for the Modernization of Madrasa Education. According to the Madrasah Education Department, the total number of madrasas in the country is 9, 137. The Private Educational Institutions (Madrasa) Manpower Structure and MPO Policy-2018 was released on 19 July 2018. This announcement will create and open a significant job opportunity in Bangladesh as well as establishing an excellent scope for the library and information science sector.
But there are some inconsistencies in this announcement in compare to other positions, which require reforms.
24 October 1995:
Notification issued of Private Educational Institutions (Madrasa) Govt. Salary Part and Manpower Structure Policy-1995. Assistant Librarian positions were created in this announcement and the required qualification for this recruitment was a Graduate degree in any discipline with a Diploma in Library Science.
25 October 2011:
The Ministry of Education issued a circular on October 25, 2011, for the appointment of Assistant Librarian in Dakhil and Alim Madrasa similar to Secondary and Higher Secondary. It was said in the serial number of the Circular (d) “Submitted as Secondary / Higher Secondary and Assistant Librarian included in Alim Madrasa”. As a result, recruitment of assistant librarian in Dakhil and Alim Madras started.
15 April 2012:
On April 15, 2012, a circular was issued and Dakhil and Alim Madrasas stopped the recruitment of assistant librarian posts. It was said that these positions cannot be recruited until the educational qualification, the fixation of the salary structure and the appointment policy are made properly.
19 July 2018:
Notification issued of Private Educational Institutions (Madrasa) Manpower Structure and MPO Policy-2018. In this policy, Librarian and Assistant Librarian positions have been reformed for Dakhil, Alim, Fazil and Kamil Madrasas. However, the educational qualifications for these requirements have been kept different.
The new eligibilities for Librarian:
Private Educational Institutions (Madrasa) Manpower Structure and MPO Policy-2018, the new eligibilities for Librarian positions are,
a) Degree in Kamil under Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board/Islamic University/Islamic Arabic University and
b) Diploma degree in Library Science
a) Graduate and a Post-graduate degree in Arabic and
b) Diploma degree in Library Science
The new eligibilities for Assistant Librarian:
The new eligibilities for Assistant Librarian positions are
a) Degree in Fazil under Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board/Islamic University/Islamic Arabic University and
b) Diploma degree in Library Science
a) Graduate degree in Arabic literature with and
b) Diploma degree in Library Science.
That means, after completing a Graduation and Master degree in other discipline and with a Diploma degree in Information Science and Library Management or evening Master degree holders in Information Science and Library Management and Honors and Master degree holders in Information Science and Library Management none is eligible to apply to the madrasas for Librarian and Assistant Librarian position. They will not be eligible for appointed for these positions which are unfair and discriminate policy.
The announcement will hamper the current flow and development of LIS profession:
Librarian and Assistant Librarian recruitment of the Private Educational Institutions (Madrasa) Manpower Structure and MPO Policy-2018 is clear discrimination between the madrasa and general education system and this discrimination cannot be accepted in any way in the librarian profession. The government has a mandate in establishing Digital Bangladesh and the LIS professionals are playing a significant role to support in the process. Very recently I came to know through a social media status that many graduates from other prestigious universities i.e. Dhaka University Business Faculty students have enrolled in Information Science and Library Management to study the subject due to the current importance and job prospects. This notice will be hindering the current flow and development of the LIS profession in the country.
Library and Information Science is a Unique and Universal Profession:
Under the current curriculums of LIS education, a Graduate or Post-graduate or Diploma student in Library and Information Science are considered and eligible for working in any National, Academic, Public and Special Libraries. A student in Library and Information Science is being trained to work with any kind of libraries. Arabic is a language similar to other different languages in the world. The librarians are being developed in such a way that they can meet special needs in the specialized institution. The language is not a significant issue to get recruitment in madrasa as a librarian or assistant librarian. The technical terms in the LIS profession i.e. LCSH, MARC21, AACR2, RDA can be managed in Arabic/Urdu or whatever language collections are in the madrasa libraries.
Madrasa students are receiving equal opportunity:
The Education Policy 2010 seeks to bring all students of the country, irrespective of their religions, genders, physical limitations, socioeconomic and geographic locations, under one system. In a policy statement, the Government had taken specific policies to modernize the madrasa education system. And the recruitment of Librarian and Assistant Librarian are the part of the madrasa modernization policy similar to other compulsory subjects (i.e. Introduction to Environmental Studies), Information Technology, and Science. As a result madrasa students are receiving equal opportunity to apply in accordance with the country’s traditional education system and job structure. The authority should follow the same rules for all ordinary students.
The process of recruitment of Librarian and Assistant Librarian in Dakhil, Alim, Fazil and Kamil Madrasas should be stopped until a fair and undiscriminating notice is issued by the authority. This announcement, particularly for Librarian and Assistant Librarian eligibility sections, should be re-considered before starting the appointment activity. Otherwise, other new crises will occur in the education systems.
The library professionals are seeking a quick settlement of this discrimination and injustice for the development of madrasas education systems and establishing equal opportunities for all citizens in the country.
RMIT University, Australia