• Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:38 am

Govt plans to provide pandemic-affected non-MPO teachers with cash aid

  • Published at 09:50 am May 31st, 2020
web-Sirajganj-teacher
Kindergarten school teachers took to the streets demanding government incentives to alleviate their sufferings during the coronavirus pandemic in Sirajganj on Wednesday morning, on May 13, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

According to sources, there are over 7,000 approved non-MPO educational institutions in the country with 200,542 teachers and staff combined

The government has been working to provide a minimum of Tk5,000 for teachers and Tk2,500 for other staff of schools, which have not been yet included in the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) scheme, as cash aid considering their financial crisis due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Mominur Rashid Amin, additional secretary for Secondary and Higher Education Division of the Education Ministry, confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Saturday.

“Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni is looking forward to providing cash aid of a minimum of Tk5,000 to teachers and Tk2,500 to the staff of the institutions with non-MPO status,” he told reporters. 

Earlier on May 23, Mominur forwarded an Education Ministry letter to all 64 district commissioners seeking the list of non-MPO institutions and personal information, including mobile banking account numbers, of the teachers and staffs from all junior and secondary-level schools, having status of both school and college, and higher-secondary and degree colleges.

The letter mentioned the purpose of seeking information as: “Updating the National Education Survey-2019 by Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (Banbeis).”

“Although the letter did not mention anything regarding the aid, it did seek information regarding mobile banking accounts,” Mominur said. 

“We will get full information on Sunday from across the country. A lot of information is also absent on the Banbeis database. We also seek to update the database as well.”

He, however, did not mention any timeframe for the disbursement of the aid and said he was not aware from which fund the aid will come from.

According to sources, there are over 7,000 approved non-MPO educational institutions in the country with 200,542 teachers and staff combined.

The Education Ministry has sent the proposal to the Prime Minister’s Office, keeping two different options for providing one-time financial aid to the non-MPO service holders.

The letter, signed by Education Minister Dipu Moni, proposed that a total of Tk126 crore will be needed if Tk8,000 is given to each teacher and Tk4,000 for each staff, while Tk78.96 crore will be needed if teachers get Tk5,000 each and staff Tk2,500 each.

It also stated that financial solvency of most of the non-MPO institutions in rural areas were not satisfactory and have been passing through severe financial crisis since the lockdown began. At the same time, they were not included in any aid program under the government. 

“In this context, it is necessary to bring non-MPO teachers and employees under the government's special assistance program,” the proposal letter added.

The Finance Ministry will release the funds following approval from the prime minister.

Bangladesh Teachers’ Association President Nazrul Islam Rony told Dhaka Tribune: “We are very thankful to the government as they plan to disburse cash aid to non-MPO teachers and staff.

“They [non-MPO teacher and staff] are usually paid from revenues collected from tuition fees, and other incomes or funds of the institutions and were not paid since their institutions remained closed after the lockdown began,” he added.

He also called for similar incentives for all under MPO-listed institutions.

However, several teachers under non-MPO and MPO status demanded the special status by the government rather than the compensation.

Md Dabir Uddin, principal of Bhogdanga Model College in Kurigram, said: “Please don’t tarnish the image of teachers in the society by providing aid. Enable MPO status in those institutions, which can also be conditional.”

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