School and college librarians have been given ‘teacher’ status
Since the establishment of the National Education Policy 2010, the position of school librarian was created in Bangladesh. Since the school librarian recruitment, there was a massive conflict and confusion surrounding the school librarians roles. The role of assistant librarian was removed from the third and fourth-class employees list in the partial amendment order issued on January 8, 2013. In this order, the assistant librarians were treated as teaching staff. On the other hand, the revised regulations of the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board issued on December 22, 2016, stated that “librarians, assistant librarians and any staff appointed for office management or part-time teaching shall not be considered as teachers.” Since then, the assistant librarians have been struggling with their position status and demanding the return of their teacher status through a government order (The Daily Star, 2021).
The assistant librarians have been considering third-class employees and non-teaching staff at educational institutions. The names of the assistant librarians were kept in the attendance register of the organisation’s non-teaching staff which was big discrimination against a qualified librarian. Besides, the assistant librarians were excluded from the school management committee’s voting rights in a circular dated January 1, 2017. As a result, thousands of assistant librarians were demoralised and unable to concentrate on work properly (The Daily Star, 2021).
This inequality is now eliminated after the publication of new MPO policies and the manpower framework 2021 for private schools and colleges. The new position name of Librarian will be ‘Library Lecturer’ and the new position name of the Assistant Librarian cum Cataloguers will be ‘Assistant Teacher (Library and Information Science) from now on.
Kamrul Hasan, President of School Library Association Bangladesh said to TLT, “ eventually, the restoration of teacher status has put an end to many problems of the greater school librarians community as well as the library profession in Bangladesh.” He expressed his gratitude to the Government of Bangladesh for this timely decision.
Abid Hassan, General Secretary (Acting), School Library Association of Bangladesh (SLABD) who has been playing a significant role to communicate nationally and internally since the SLABD established in 2017, thanked all those who have raised the issue of the school librarians at the international level and played a leading role in solving it.