Technical teachers of the country, under the Technical and Madrasah Education Division, which is a priority sector of the government, have been living an inhumane life as they did not receive salary allowance for three consecutive years.
Former education minister Dipu Moni had earlier sought funds from the finance division, but to no avail. But now, as the finance minister and the education minister have changed in the new government, the matter of technical teachers’ salary and allowances hangs in uncertainty.
The then education minister Dipu Moni had written a letter to former finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal to this end on December 31 last year, seeking funds to pay due salaries. A copy of the letter has also been sent to the finance secretary.
The Business Post has obtained a copy of this letter.
According to education ministry sources, in the budget for FY2019-20, the finance division allocated Tk 9,82,93,704 [including two festival allowances and one new year allowance] for three months from April to June 2020.
Of which, the salaries and allowances of the respective teachers were paid until June 2020.
Since July 2020, the salaries and allowances of the teachers could not be paid due to a lack of allocation in the revenue budget for the Technical and Madrasah Education Division in FY2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.
Dipu Moni, in her letter, wrote that the teachers are living inhumane lives without receiving salary allowance.
In other words, due to the teacher shortage, it is not possible to run academic activities of institutions in a healthy manner except the 777 teachers recruited through the project.
Taking the matter into consideration, the education ministry, for the time being, had urged the finance ministry to pay salary and allowances for at least 11 months from July 2020 to May 2021.
It also recommended the continuation of employment of 777 teachers under the concluded Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) project.
For this purpose, the ministry had requested to take necessary steps to release Tk 27,53,67,048 [including two festival allowances and one new year allowance].
The Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP), implemented by the Directorate of Technical Education, started on July 1, 2010 and ended on June 30, 2019. Among the 799 teachers of this project, 777 currently working had acquired their skills through training at home and abroad.
Considering the acute shortage of teachers in the technical educational institutes even after conclusion of the project, it was decided to continue the education programme in the government polytechnic and mono-technic institutes, and to pay the salaries and allowances through bulk allocation.
In this context, a DO letter numbered 667 and dated November 7, 2019, was sent to the Finance Division. In May 2016, the prime minister verbally approved the proposal to transfer the jobs of 777 teachers working under the completed STEP project to the revenue sector.
Currently, according to the public administration ministry, the process of amending the recruitment rules for the transfer of teachers to the revenue sector is under process.
In her letter, Dipu Moni wrote that technical education is one of the priority sectors of Bangladesh. The current government has given maximum importance to technical education for economic and social development, to solve the existing unemployment problem of the country.
The government has also taken multifaceted activities for the promotion, expansion and overall improvement of technical education.
The government's vision of 2041 has set a target of increasing student enrollment in technical education to 30 per cent by 2030 and 50 per cent by 2041.
To accelerate the achievement of Vision 2041 adopted by the government, there is no alternative to developing the large population of Bangladesh as skilled manpower with technical knowledge.