Secondary teachers face pay disparity

Md Solamain Salman

21 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Secondary teachers face pay disparity

Secondary schoolteachers are largely unhappy with their paychecks due to discrimination in the wages and other benefits for teachers working at MPO, non-MPO and government educational institutions.

The discrimination came to light in the education watch report-2018-19 prepared by Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE). The report analyzed the salary structures of secondary level teachers at the government, MPO and non-MPO institutions.

According to the survey, the average annual income of a teacher is Tk 2,59,601. It is Tk 5,37,804 for government teachers, Tk 2,86,034 for MPO-listed teachers and 1,41,035 for non-MPO teachers.   

The report said a wide discrimination existed in income of the secondary level teachers in the country. Teachers belonging to the highest quintile of income earned about 3.5 times as much as those belonging to the lowest quintile.

The government schoolteachers were the top earners. Their annual income was 1.9 times as much as the grant (MPO) and 3.8 times the non-grant (non-MPO) teachers of the other institutions.

Considering the past year’s income and expenditure from all sources, 5% of the teachers rated their households as always in deficit, 20.2% as sometimes in deficit, 34.9% as breakeven, and 40% as surplus.

Although the government schoolteachers are getting more salary compared to those in private institutes, the pressure of class of private schools is higher than that for the teachers of government schools.

The teachers of government schools are giving 21 classes in a week, non-government schoolteachers are around 23 classes and Dakhil madrasah teachers 26 classes every week.   

Talking to the correspondent, Bangladesh Teachers Association President Nazrul Islam Rony said: “I think the salary discrimination should be removed from the educational institutes to improve the quality of education.”

He said: “We are the teachers of MPO-listed institutes. We teach the same syllabus as like the government schools. But there is a huge gap between the salary structure of government and MPO-listed teachers.”

He said: “We are getting only Tk1,000 as house rent monthly but renting house is impossible by this Tk1,000.”

Rony urged the government for nationalization of the educational institutions to solve the problem.

The report also noticed that the majority of teachers is not satisfied with the remuneration though they were satisfied with their profession and institutions.

Overall, 26.3% of the teachers were ‘satisfied’ with each of the three issues—-remuneration, profession and institution. Of them, 46.4% were ‘satisfied’ with current profession and institution, but not with remuneration, 16% were ‘satisfied’ only with profession, but not with the rest two issues and 11.3% fell in other categories.

However, about 55% of government schoolteachers expressed their satisfaction in all three areas concerned, which was 30.2% among the teachers of school and colleges, 27% among those of senior madrasas, 26.3% among those of Non-government schools, and 21% among those of Dakhil madrasas.

Meanwhile, the teaching was reported to be the principal occupation of all of the teachers. But two-thirds of the teachers claimed to have a second occupation.

Teaching was the only occupation for 39.7% of the male and 10% of the female teachers. Whereas, a fifth of all teachers claimed household management as their second occupation, 86% of the female teachers claimed so.

The other occupations include agriculture (23.3%), private supplementary tutoring (11.3%), business (4.4%), aquaculture (2.8%), and others (5.7%).

Teaching was the only profession of 57.8% of the government and a third of the teachers in other institutions.

It was also mentioned in the education watch report that a serious attempt should be made to reduce the gaps with regard to teachers’ educational qualifications, and availability of infrastructure and other facilities in the institutions with a view to addressing the widening inequality within and among various types of educational institutions.

This should include a similar recruitment procedure including equity in financial and other benefits during job and after retirement. As the existing natural selection process has widened inequity over time, an intervention from the government is the order of the time.

It also said the non-government private schools and the Dakhil madrasas need special attention.

Speaking at the report launching ceremony, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury said the report was an objective assessment of secondary education in the country.

Seeking cooperation from all, He also said the government is now working to improve the quality of education.

There are 29,330 secondary level educational institutions with 358,907 teachers against 1,21,97,554 students across the country.