HOUSE RENT, MEDICAL ALLOWANCE
Amounts increased for non-govt teachers
Teachers reject decisionsMohiuddin Alamgir
The government on Tuesday increased the house rent and medical allowance for non-government teachers and employees enlisted for monthly pay order with effect from January.
It increased the amount of Tk 100 to Tk 500 in house rent, which the minister said was ‘a five-time increase’ and the amount of Tk 150 to Tk 300 in medical allowance.
The government has also decided to bring librarians of non-government secondary schools under its regular payroll. Teachers of independent ibtedayi madrassahs will also get Tk 1,000 a month from the state exchequer. They were earlier paid Tk 500.
Leaders of teachers, however, rejected the government decision saying that it was ‘nothing but a farce’ in view of their demand that they should get paid equal to what government teachers get.
They said that they would hold protests against the announcement.
The education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, at a press briefing at the ministry said that from now on teachers enlisted for the MPO would get Tk 500 a month in house rent and Tk 300 in medical allowance.
The announcement will benefit 456,590 teachers and employees of 26,047 non-government schools, colleges and madrassahs, and 13,254 teachers and employees of 1,600 technical education institutions.
The teachers have drawn Tk 100 in house rent since 1984 and Tk 150 in medical allowance since 1994.
According to the amended MPO Directives of August 2012, the highest monthly gross salary of a college principal could be Tk 33,750 while that of an assistant teacher Tk 9,305.
A government high school teacher have received Tk 700 in medical allowance and 40 to 60 per cent, depending on the place of posting, of the basic salary in house rent.
A leader of the teachers said that benefits for government teachers were revised in 2009 in the seventh pay scale when the medical allowance was increased from Tk 500 to Tk 700.
The government has also decided to bring librarians of non-government secondary schools under its regular payroll.
A ministry official said that all the 14,000 assistant librarians had been recruited in 2010 in non-government secondary schools and madrassahs but they had so far not received any money from the government as part of their salary under the MPO.
Teachers of independent ibtedayi madrassahs will get Tk 1,000 a month from the state exchequer. A total of 6,076 teachers of 1,519 madrassahs will enjoy the benefit.
Independent ibdetayi madrassah teachers have received Tk 500 a month from the state exchequer since its introduction in 1994.
The orders will be effective from January. The government will need to spend about Tk 244 crore on the purposes, the minister said.
Nahid said that teachers were getting many benefits from this government. No previous governments have increased house rent, medical allowance and other facilities at this proportion for teachers.
‘We know that this increase is not enough as teachers get a very meagre allowance. But the increased amount of money will get get them some relief,’ Nahid added.
Teachers enlisted for the MPO have rallying for years for an increase in house rent, medical allowance, their basic salary in festival allowance, pension benefits and others.
Nahid, after a meeting with the teachers on September 23, 2012, said that the government was thinking about an increase in house rent and medical allowance of teachers enlisted for the MPO.
After the announcement of the decisions, Shikkhak Karmachari Oikya Jote brought out a procession in protest.
‘Nowadays when you see a doctor, you need to pay him Tk 500 in fee and the house rent we are paid is not enough even to rent a room in a upazila town,’ the Shikkhak Karmachari Oikya Jote chairman, Selim Bhuiyan, told New Age. ‘Teachers have rejected the government decision.’
He said that no one could live on such meagre salary and benefits amid a spiral of the cost of living. ‘Tk 500 in house rent and Tk 300 in medical allowance a month are not acceptable.’
The National Front of Teachers and Employees, leaders in a statement said that the teachers were disappointed at the decision and they demanded the same amount in house rent, medical allowance and festival allowance as government teachers get.
The National Front of Teachers and Employees chief coordinator, Quazi Faruque Ahmed, said that they would hold protests across the country.
The Bangladesh Shikkhak-Karmachari Oikya Parishad coordinator, Ranjit Kumar Saha, urged the government to remove the disparity in pay and perks of teachers of government and non-government educational institutions.
They all demanded nationalization of teacher job.
‘The nationalization of schools is a big matter and only some teachers are pushing for the demand, Nahid said as his attention was called to the issue.
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