Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will announce inclusion of about 3,000 more non-government educational institutions in the government’s Monthly Pay Order scheme at her Ganobhabn residence today with a provision for relegating non-performing institutions, education minister Dipu Moni said on Tuesday.
‘The exact number of institutions and teachers and office employees for the benefit will be announced by the prime minister. She will also disclose the amount of the additional fund required for bringing them under the scheme,’ the minister told a meet-the-press event at the International Mother Language Institute.
Deputy education minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury and Secondary and Higher Secondary Division secretary M Sohrab Hossain were present.
The MPO benefit will go to educational institutions including schools, colleges and madrassahs nine years after 1,624 such institutions were brought under the scheme in 2010.
The teachers and employees of the non-government educational institutions had been demonstrating for the benefit for all the 5,214 registered such institutions for months while the lawmakers were pursuing the demands in almost every Jatiya Sangsad session for the institutions of their respective constituencies.
Depending on grades, the college principals to school office employees receive the benefit starting from Tk 50,000 down to Tk 8,500, education ministry officials said.
Currently a total of 27,810 non-government educational institutions get MPO benefit and the number of beneficiaries is 4,96,362 for whom the government pays Tk 942 crore in salary and other benefits under the scheme, they added.
Dipu Moni in her briefing said that the list of the non-government schools, colleges, madrassahs and technical education institutions for the MPO benefit was prepared from among more than 5,000 online applications after rigorous scrutiny as per the government’s 2018 MPO policy.
‘The final list has been prepared by the prime minister’s office as all the 350 MPs had made demands for inclusion of institutions from their constituencies in the scheme while several teachers-employees bodies representing the institutions organised agitation programmes in the capital,’ Dipu Moni said.
‘But, from now on we will award the MPO benefit every year and will relegate non -performing institutions also every year. It’s not fair that an institution will get the benefit but will not improve its performance,’ Dipu Moni said.
‘We have found many institutions under the MPO benefit performing poorly in the public examinations. But, it cannot go on,’ she added.
The Non-MPO Shikkha Pratishthan Shikkhak-Karmachari Federation, however, continued its fast-unto-death programme on Tuesday in front of the National Press Club in the capital demanding inclusion in the government benefit scheme of all the 5,242 institutions they put forward.
Joint general secretary of the federation Subrata Kumar Saha said that over 2,000 of the institutions listed by the government for the MPO benefit had already been getting it.
‘They have extended the coverage of the benefit scheme in those 2,000 institutions which were already enjoying the benefit for junior or HSC levels but later these 2,000 institutions were upgraded to secondary or degree levels with many new teachers not covered under the scheme,’ he said.
But very limited number of applicants from 5,242 institutions were considered, he added
‘We would decide our next programme following an executive committee meeting since the announcement will be made by the prime minister,’ he said.
The education minister claimed that the list was prepared after taking information from various sources and the best possible transparency was followed. As per the government’s benefit policy the marginalised and hard-to-reach educational institutions would get the benefit, she said.
She also questioned the claim by the federation leaders about the inclusion of over 2,000 institutions already receiving the benefit.
‘How do they know the names when strict secrecy was ensured?’ she asked.
She also urged the Non-MPO Shikkha Pratishthan Shikkhak-Karmachari Federation leaders to stop their agitation programme and to pay more attention to enhancing the quality of their institutions so that they could be considered in the next selection process.
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