Teachers and employees of non-MPO educational institutions yesterday suspended their movement for one month, with the assurance of education minister to help them realise their demands.
Hundreds of teachers and employees, under the banner of “Non-MPO Educational Institution Teachers and Employees Federation”, had been continuing their sit-in-programme near Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka to realise their demand for enlistment in the monthly pay order (MPO) since March 20.
“We suspended our movement for one month at around 5:30pm, as Education Minister Dipu Moni visited us and took responsibility of taking necessary steps to make an appointment with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which was our main demand,” said Golam Mahmudunnabi, president of the Non-MPO Educational Institution Teachers and Employees Federation.
He said they hope their problem will be solved when they meet the PM, and the education minister has taken full responsibility to facilitate it.
“We will resume our movement if we fail to meet the PM within the time frame,” said Mahmudunnabi.
MPO is the government's share in the payroll of the non-government educational institutions. Under the scheme, the government gives 100 percent basic salaries to the teachers of non-government schools. The teachers also get a lump sum amount as other allowances through the MPO.
As per rules, the educational institutions first come under MPO facilities and then the government enlists the teachers in the payroll.
Mahmudunnabi said the number of non-MPO educational institutions is 5,242, where around 75,000 teachers are working without any pay, some for more than a decade.
This is because the institutions do not have the ability to pay the teachers when the government stopped bringing these institutions under its payroll for what they said due to a fund crunch, he said.
After a suspension of six years by the then BNP-led alliance government, the Awami League-led government revived the MPO facility in 2010 as per its electoral pledge, enlisting 1,624 private secondary and higher secondary schools and colleges in the MPO scheme.
The non-MPO teachers have been organising various protest programmes since then.
The federation president said they received assurances from the prime minister through her then personal secretary on January 5, 2018 during their movement to realise their demand.
They also broke their hunger strike on July 11, 2018 in front of Jatiya Press Club with the assurance of the then education minister Nurul Islam Nahid. Education ministry also received applications for MPO enlistment from them through online afterwards but there has been no headway since then, he said.