NON-GOVT SCHOOLS, COLLEGES
Guardian pay exorbitant fees as teachers get double benefitsSiddiqur Rahman Khan
The teachers and staff of reputed non-government schools and colleges who are on monthly pay order are enjoying double benefit causing the guardians to pay exorbitant fees on different heads, including tuition fee, coaching fee, and model test fee.
Since August 2006, the teachers and staff of recognised non-government educational institutions have been getting 100 per cent of their salary from the public exchequer under the monthly pay order scheme, while they continue to get salaries from the respective institutions as well.
Before August 2006, the teachers and staff on monthly pay order used to get 90 per cent of their salaries and other benefits from the government.
The government now has to pay more than Tk 5,000 crore a year to nearly 4.70 lakh teachers and employees of about 28,000 schools, madrassahs and colleges under the monthly pay order scheme, education ministry officials said.
Under the monthly pay order scheme, an intermediate college principal gets Tk 23,000, an assistant professor Tk 18,500 and a lecturer Tk 15,000 and a school headmaster Tk 15,000 and a new assistant teacher gets Tk 8,000 per month from the government, the officials said.
The Motijheel Ideal School and College principal, Shahanara Begum, gets more than Tk 1.50 lakh and an assistant professor at the college gets about Tk 30,000 a month from the college apart from Tk 23,000 and Tk 18,500, they get respectively from the state exchequer, college sources said.
Similar situations have been found at almost all of the reputed schools and colleges.
Those institutions charge exorbitant fees on different heads, including tuition fee, coaching fee, and model test fee, guardians, and education officials said.
New Age found that for a Class VIII student, Viqarunnisa Noon School charges
Tk 625 as monthly tuition fee, although the government has announced that the education for girls up to intermediate is totally free.
Monthly tuition fee for the same class is Tk 825 at RAJUK Uttara Model School, Tk 800 at Motijheel Ideal School and College, Tk 625 at the Willes Little Flower School, Tk 400 at Agrani Girls High School, Tk 700 at Azimpur Girls High School and Tk 300 at Ispahani Girls High School in Dhaka.
Guardians said that apart from the exorbitant tuition fees, they needed to pay up to Tk 8,000 for mandatory coaching and model tests for a period of about six months every year.
Motijheel Ideal School and College principal Shahanara Begum said, ‘Only a few of my teachers and employees get MPO, but I need to pay regular salary to all of my teaching and
non-teaching staff and various fees are the only source of income for the institution.’
She said that she arranged coaching of the students by the teachers at the institution and it benefited the students as they did not need to go to different coaching centres.
‘Yes, our fees are a bit high, but that is necessary for providing better education and extra care. Teachers are given extra benefit for the extra care,’ she said.
Of the reputed schools in Dhaka, Motijheel Ideal School and College earns about Tk 20 crore a year and Viqarunnisa Tk 15 crore, sources in the institutions said.
The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education director general, Fahiman Khatun, said that the teachers and employees of all these schools, who were in the organgram approved by the government for the respective institution, were getting salaries and other benefits from the exchequer under the monthly pay order.
There are about 500 teachers and employees at Willes Little Flower School and College has nearly 500 teaching and non-teaching staff, but only 50 of them are on the monthly pay order, she explained.
To run a non-government school smoothly, the authorities need to collect a higher tuition fees, but it should not be too high, she said.
‘Although the directorate is the regulator of these schools, it has no authority to fix the rate of tuition fees. The management committee is the sole authority to recruit manpower and fix tuition fees,’ she added.
Either the ruling-party lawmakers or their nominee, or senior government officials lead the management committees of these schools.
Manzurul Islam, guardian of a Class VIII student at Motijheel Ideal School, told New Age that he needed to pay Tk 800 as monthly tuition fee for his son, and an additional Tk. 2,500 as coaching and model test fees for a few months a year.
The school authorities said the fees were mandatory for all, as the school was the most reputed one, and it was important to perform well in the public exam for Class VIII students.
An education ministry official said that in August 2006 the government had asked the private educational institutions to deposit the fees they charged the students to the public exchequer.
The order was never implemented as the teacher organisations had opposed it, he said.
Non-government teacher association leader Nazrul Islam Rony said that the reputed schools in major cities were financially solvent and their teachers were getting double benefits, but most of the institutions had no income other than the monthly pay order.
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