Private university teachers allege job cuts, non-payment

UGC to discuss on Wednesday meeting

Ershad Kamol | Published: 01:48, Jul 14,2020


Teachers of several private universities have filed complaints to the University Grants Commission seeking remedy for their termination and nonpayment of salary though the university authorities are taking full tuition fees from the students for online classes.

The UGC chairman Kazi Shahidullah said that they got several complaints about termination and nonpayment of salaries over the last few months from teachers of different private universities.

Some teachers also complained that they had been receiving 50 per cent of their salaries since the closure of the normal activities of the education institutes in March, he said.

‘We will discuss the issue in the regular monthly meeting scheduled for Wednesday to decide on our response,’ he said.

Shahidullah said that the commission had already sent request letters to all the 105 private universities to pay salaries of teachers and staff members while operating online courses.

Teachers of Daffodil University, Primeasia University, University of Creative Technology, European University Bangladesh, who complained to the UGC, told New Age on Monday that the universities terminated many teachers during the COVID-19 crisis.

‘Teachers who were still giving services did not get salary for more than three months or have been receiving 50 per cent of their salaries,’ they said.

They said that they had to count over Tk 4,000 extra for purchasing internet data for developing contents for online classes and delivering lectures online, said.

Still, the private universities were forcing them to go to the campuses regularly, they said.

Daffodil University director Syed Mizanur Rahman Raju said that they terminated contracts with some part-time teachers.

‘Many teachers voluntarily took leave without payment as they could not take classes online,’ he said, adding that the university was keeping records to ensure payment of pending salaries of the faculties in arrear when the situation becomes normal.

He also said that the university enrolled 18,000 students at the online-based semester and gave them waivers.

Primeasia University vice-chancellor Abdul Hannan Chowdhury said that the university terminated around 10 teachers.

‘We paid 60 per cent of salaries for April and May and was planning to pay full salary for June,’ he said.

University of Creative Technology VC Muhammad Yunus and European University VC Mokbul Ahmed Khan could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.

Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh chairman Sheikh Kabir Hossain suggested that the UGC should make the aggrieved teachers understand the ground realities.

Most of the newly established private universities were struggling to pay salaries to the teachers and staff members during the coronavirus crisis as is the case in all other sectors, except for public entities.

‘Many private universities were on the verge of closure as not many students were taking admissions during the COVID time while the landlords were mounting pressure on them for paying rents,’ he said.

He also said that 98 private universities operated online courses but no one counted the total number of students attending such classes.  

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