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PM likely to announce MPO facilities today: Minister

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
PM likely to announce MPO facilities today: Minister

After nearly nine years, non-government educational institutions are going to enjoy monthly payment order (MPO) perquisites as the government is set to announce it today. Education minister Dipu Moni said yesterday (Tuesday) that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would officially announce the MPO facilities for non-government educational institutions on Wednesday. She also said teachers and employees would get the benefit from last July.

From now on the government would provide the MPO facilities for non-government educational institutions every year, she added. However, she warned that all such institutions would come under the scanner of the government. If they fail to maintain the standard of education as per the MPO Policy 2018, the government would suspend the facility and the institutions would get it back only when they would fulfil the criteria, she said.

Dipu Moni came up with the comments while exchanging views with journalists at the International Mother Language Institute in the capital. Deputy minister of the Technical and Madrasa Education Division, Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, senior secretary of the Secondary and Higher Education Division, Sohrab Hossain, and others were present.

The education minister, however, did not disclose the number of MPOs for non-government educational institutions. “The number would be double compared to the last MPO. The Prime Minister will announce the number and other things,” she said.

The government brought a total of 1,624 educational institutions under MPO facilities in 2010. It has been stopped since then as it requires a huge amount of money.

When Dipu Moni gave the information of MPO announcement, hundreds of teachers and employees of non-government educational institutions were continuing their sit-in and hunger-strike in the capital. They are demanding that the MPO facilities should not be announced based on the MPO Policy 2018, which they term "inconsistent".

The education minister urged the teachers and employees of these educational institutions to return to their institutions.

“I would urge the teachers to return to classrooms. If they go on with their programme, it will ultimately affect them to achieve the standard for obtaining MPO. The educational institutions which will be included in the MPO facility have fulfilled all criteria of the policy and it has been done through strict verification,” she said.

Leaders of the "Non-MPO Shikkha

Protishthan Shikkhak Karmachari Federation” said they would continue their movement until they get any positive assurance from the Prime Minister.

The general secretary of the Federation, Principal Binoy Bhushan Roy, told The Independent yesterday: “As per our estimate, around 5,242 educational institutions would not get the MPO facility under the MPO Policy 2018.

We protested the policy when it was formulated, but the government did not pay heed to our recommendations. So, we will continue our movement to realise our demands and would not return until we get any positive assurance from the Prime Minister on Wednesday.”

About the fresh movement, Dipu Moni said: “When the government is set to announce the MPO facilities, the teachers have launched their movement. But it is they who had applied for MPO based on the policy.This government is education-friendly. We have to improve the education system. We have more non-government educational institutions compared to the government ones. So, the government is providing benefits to non-government teachers.”

The minister said recognition of the institutions alone is not enough for enjoying the MPO facilities.

“We have to see the number of students, teachers, results and other infrastructures for MPO. We have to follow a standard. That’s why we formulated the policy. The policy can be amended, but there’s no such scope in the current situation. Institutions that would not get MPO will have the chance to be included in the MPO by fulfilling the criteria next year. The government’s incentives will continue. I hope the teachers call off their agitation. They should improve their institutions for MPO rather than stage agitation,” she added.

In reply to a query, she said: “The MPO list was not prepared on the basis of any political consideration. It has been done after thorough  verification.”

The MPO was a long overdue demand of non-government educational institutions after the last MPO in 2010. On different occasions, the teachers and employees demanded the facilities through various programmes, including hunger-strike.

Finally, the government assured them of MPO and formulated the MPO Policy 2018 and called for submitting applications online. The institution authorities submitted their papers online.

The education ministry received 9,500 online applications from different educational institutions. Later, different committees of the ministry scrutinised them and prepared a list for final approval.

Dipu Moni said: “We have taken some time for preparing the list. We have done it for proper verification for accuracy. Now, the PM will announce it.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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