Unauthorised autistic schools doing brisk business in Jhenidah

A section of unscrupulous people in Jhenidah are doing brisk business through establishing autistic schools. A total of 21 such institutes were established, while the figure of the challenged children is 335 in six upazilas of the district. 

The authorities of the institutes have been recruiting teachers and staff, collecting several lakhs taka from each as ‘security money’. But most of the teachers do not have 

the capacity. 

Locals said the committees of the autistic schools have been dealing the financial matters taking advantages of educated and unemployed people. Each of the candidates have to pay Tk five lakh or more as they are assured of immediate facilities like monthly pay order (MPO). Most of those institutes are running on rented houses.

Jahura Begum Autistic and Intellectual Disability School was established in the abandoned and dilapidated school building of Jatrapaur Junior High School in Jhenidah Sadar upazila in 2015. No door and window was visible in the classrooms. 

A total of 16 teachers are serving at Hazi Amjad Ali Autistic and Intellectual Disability School in same upazila where five teachers were provided one-month training on neuro development and disability. They received training from a 

local NGO.

Manwar Hossain, a member of Mohammad Abdur Rashid Mia Autistic and Intellectual Disability School at Halidhani Bazer, said, “We do not receive money from the candidates, while receive a little amount for miscellaneous cost.”

About 16 teachers and staff have been appointed for an autistic at Sailkupa. T

he school was named after a freedom fighter. Some teachers and staff of the school said they had paid a few lakh taka as they were assured of MPO. “Our managing director (MD) has a good relation with the family members of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This will help in nationalising the school”, said one of the teacher.

Chairman of Jhenidah Zila Parishad Kanak Kanti Das said daughter of the prime minister has been working for the betterment of autistic people. Taking the advantages, a section of unscrupulous people are establishing autistic schools cheating the innocent and educated people. They should be brought under book. 

Jahidul Alam, assistant director of Jhenidah district social welfare office, said the schools should be run with the approval of the ministry of social welfare. The district level office is supposed to submit any report as per the guidelines of the higher authorities where they are not supposed to take any action against the institutes, he added. 

He also said the government established an autistic school in Jhenidah. 

The process for recruitment of the teachers and other staff and enrollment of students is going on. The institute might be started within a short time, he added. 

Deputy Commissioner of Jhenidah Saroj Kumar Nath said some unscrupulous people are engaged in establishing autistic school. Legal steps would be taken against them.