Budget for MPO Programme: Tk 432cr set aside for 1,000 more schools
The finance ministry has set aside Tk 432 crore to bring in a maximum of 1,000 secondary schools under Monthly Pay Order scheme in the next fiscal year.
No new school was brought under the programme in the last seven years.
Although the finance minister in his budget speech did not say anything about the matter, budget documents showed that the education ministry would take steps to provide more schools with the benefit.
Before the budget was placed, the education ministry had sent a policy to the finance ministry regarding the matter. The finance ministry gave its opinion and sent it back to the education ministry, a high official of the finance division said.
It may take the second half of the next fiscal year to complete the procedures.
The MPO is government's share in the payroll of private educational institutions. The government pays 100 percent basic salaries and small monthly allowances to the teachers under the scheme.
Before the budget was announced, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid told The Daily Star that the number of schools to be included in the scheme would depend on the amount allocated in the budget.
An educational institution comes under the MPO scheme first and then the government includes the teachers of that institution in the payroll.
Over 4 lakh teachers and employees of 26,340 secondary schools, colleges, madrasas and technical institutes are now receiving the MPO benefits.
The government allocated Tk 8,614 crore in the outgoing fiscal year for the MPO. The allocation was Tk 8,593 crore in the previous year.
After a six-year suspension by the BNP-led government, the MPO benefit was revived by the Awami League-led government in 2010.
A total of 1,624 secondary and higher secondary private schools and colleges were included in the MPO at the time.
But no school was brought under the programme since then.
Teachers and employees of government-recognised private educational institutions have been demanding the MPO benefits for the last few years. They demonstrated in the capital on multiple occasions.
In December last year and January this year, several thousand teachers took to the streets and observed hunger strike in front the Jatiya Press Club. They withdrew the strike on January 5 after the prime minister assured them of meeting their demands.
According to leaders of the teachers' platform that led the protests, there are 5,242 non-MPO educational institutions, where around 80,000 teachers work without any government pay.