The government has shut all educational institutions countrywide since March 17 in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. As there is no sign of relenting, the administration has further extended the closure till May 30.As the shutdown continues, a good number of private universities failed to pay salaries to their teachers, both fully and partially. This has pushed the teachers and their families into great financial trouble. It is a matter of great concern that the teachers who shape the future of a country are now being made to run from pillar to post just to get the salary which they rightly deserve. Only 32 out of 96 universities paid regular salaries for March and April. The rest of the universities have paid half or less than half of the salaries in the two months. Three universities did not at all pay any salary for those months.
The helplessness teachers are facing can be felt from the fact they went on to seek a stimulus package from the government to resolve the crisis. They sought the package through the Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB).The association promised to repay the amount in installments over three years when the situation returns to normal.Presently, 96 government-approved private universities are carrying out academic activities. These universities are not providing salaries, although the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission (UGC) asked all private universities to pay salaries to the teachers and staff regularly. To address the issue, a proposal was made to the government to allow the private universities to use their reserve fund deposited to banks in line with law for six months. As per the proposal, the government can set a condition that the amount they are withdrawing from the reserve fund will be repaid within a year of normalcy. The UGC chairman has already assured that the commission would look into the matter if they get any proposal in this regard. We hope for an amicable settlement of the problem.