Amid the disturbing trend of sexual abuse by individuals in positions of great responsibility in the country’s schooling system, the headmaster of a government primary school in Patharghata upazila faces the charges of sexually harassing his 20 students.
Following a written complaint, the District Primary Education Office has asked the upazila primary education officer to investigate the allegations against Maulana Abdul Halim, headmaster of Dakkhin-Purba Ghutabachha Nuria Govt Primary School under Kalmegha union.
The mother of a victim, a Class-V student, lodged a written complaint with Upazila Primary Education Officer Nagendranath Sarker on July 28. Later, it was sent to District Primary Education Officer Mizanur Rahman.
According to the complaint, the headmaster took at least 20 students, including her daughter, to the school library at different times and sexually abused them.
He also threatened to beat them and issue transfer certificates if they disclosed the matter to anyone, the complainant said, adding that her daughter, however, narrated the incident to her.
She also said she informed the school managing committee president of the incident but he tried to hush up it in “exchange for huge money”.
A number of female students of the school said Halim used to touch different sensitive parts of their bodies and take them on his lap.
Locals also alleged that the headmaster runs a coaching centre in the morning and afternoon every day defying the government order. “He also threatens the students that they can’t pass examinations unless they take private lessons from him,” said Nurul Islam Dhalu, a local resident.
The headmaster, however, denied all the allegations, terming those a conspiracy against him.
The district primary education officer said he received the complaint against the headmaster. “I’ve asked Pathargatha Upazila Education Officer Nagendranath Sarker to investigate the allegations and submit a report within seven days. Actions will be taken against him following the probe report.”