The government has doled out a package to tide over about one lakh teachers and staffers of non-government schools and colleges that are outside the purview of the monthly pay order (MPO) scheme.
Many non-MPO teachers and staffers have not received any salary since the government closed down all educational institutions on March 17 to stem the spread of Covid-19.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has granted a special allocation of Tk 46.63 crore for providing financial assistance to 80,747 teachers and 25,038 staff who are outside the purview of MPO facilities," Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury told The Daily Star yesterday.
He said the list of teachers and staff was prepared by the district administrations and that the fund has already been disbursed to the district deputy commissioners.
So far, this is a one-time grant, Mohibul said, adding, "We may have more depending on the overall Covid-19 situation".
Each teacher will receive Tk 5,000 under this package, while a staffer will get Tk 2,500.
Considering their hardship, the education ministry sent a proposal to the Prime Minister's Office last month seeking a one-time allocation for the non-MPO teachers and staffers within June. The PMO then forwarded the proposal to the finance ministry.
Teachers and staff of MPO-listed institutions get 100 percent of their basic salary from the national exchequer.
Binoy Bhushan Roy, general secretary of the Non-MPO Educational Institutions' Teachers and Employees Federation, and Nazrul Islam Rony, spokesperson of MPO Bhukto Shikkha Protisthan Jatiyakoron Liaison Forum, last week told this newspaper that non-MPO teachers have had their backs pushed against the wall due to the coronavirus situation.
They said non-MPO teachers were usually ill-paid -- which can be as low as Tk 4,000 every month -- and they used to make up the shortfall by private tutoring.
But they lost both the means of earning during the time of coronavirus.
Although the pandemic-induced nationwide closure ended on May 31, all educational institutions will remain closed until August 6.
However, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 27 said all educational institutions might stay closed until September if the coronavirus situation did not improve.
Authorities of non-government educational institutions argue that they could not pay the salaries of their employees as the tuition fees of students, the only source of income for a lot of institutions, could not be collected.
Only a few renowned schools in the capital could pay the salaries of their employees from school savings.
The prime minister has so far announced 18 stimulus packages for different sectors worth around Tk 1,01,117 crore to offset the shock of the pandemic.