The teachers have not received a salary for the last two to three months
Around 7,500 teachers and staff of 700 private and non-MPO educational institutes in Lakshmipur district are passing days in hardship as they have not received their salaries for the last few months due to the shutdown imposed to curb Covid-19 outbreak.
As teaching is considered as a respectable profession, they cannot go to receive relief. Nor are their names on any other list. None extended a hand towards them so far, some teachers told The Business Standard on Tuesday over the phone.
Md Zaman (pseudo name), a teacher in Global School and College in Kamalnagar upazila, depends on salary to run his family. He has not received the salary for the last two months.
"I can't run my family. I have never been through such a situation. I have no other way but to take relief, which I can't," he said.
Global School and College secretary Humayun Kabir said the salary of the teachers are paid from the tuition fees deposited by the students. The institute is closed since March.
"Teachers have not got the salary of March, and in some cases of February too. Nobody knows for how long this situation will continue. How will the teachers live?" he said.
Seeking anonymity, a teacher from Kazi Faruky School and College in Raipur upazila, the most renowned private school in the district, said the school provided half of the salary in March and salary of April is due.
He said he was in great trouble in running his family. He also said there would be no Eid this year for his family.
Md Hossain, a teacher in a private madrasa, said he used to run his family – mother, three children and his wife – by private tuition and teaching, but all have come to a halt now. He said he could not pay house rent, by daily necessities or medicine for his mother. He despaired that none thought about their problems.
Welfare Association of Lakshmipur Private School secretary Abdur Rahman said the schools did not receive any tuition fees as they were closed. As a result, they cannot pay salaries to teachers.
Lakshmipur district non-MPO secondary teachers' federation general secretary Farid Uddin said whenever the schools would open, students would not pay tuition fees as no classes held.
"On the other hand, we should not expect that they will pay the fees just after the schools open. Their guardians are jobless too amid the crisis. So, the teachers will face financial problems at least for the next six months," he added.
He urged local administration, public representatives, and wealthy guardians to lend a hand towards the teachers.
Lakshmipur education officer Abdul Matin said he would inform the matter to the higher authorities.
Mahfuzur Rahman, relief and rehabilitation officer in the district, suggested that the teachers should request for relief after making a list.
The government would not leave any needy one out of relief coverage but the administration must be informed, he added.
According to private school associations and district education office in the district, there are 692 private and non-MPO educational institutes, including 650 kindergarten, private schools, colleges and madrasas, 29 non-MPO secondary schools, and 63 non-MPO madrasas.