Non-govt educational institutions in crisis

Teachers changing profession

Teachers of non-government educational institutions are changing their profession as they have not been getting salary during the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Dhaka Cadet School’ at Shantibagh in the capital was permanently closed due to the corona. Saidur Rahman, the headmaster of the school, has left Dhaka with his family and moved to his hometown, Satkhira.

When contacted, Saidur Rahman asked, “How will the school run if guardians don't pay the tuition fees?"
He also said, "I didn't have any choice without shutting the school. The condition of our teachers is very bad. I could not bear the rent of my house in Dhaka. So, I had to move to my village home. Now, I do fish farming in the pond to bear the expenses of my family.”

The authority of ‘Ikra Ideal School, located at Bagichartech in city's Rampura area, also wants to sell the school.
Muhammad Saiful Islam, a teacher of Agrani Model School and College at Gazipur told Bangladesh Post, “I’m passing a miserable life as I am not getting salary. I have already borrowed a lot of money from my relatives to bear the expenses of my basic needs.”

“Now, there is no hope to get another job during this pandemic situation. I am thinking of starting any small business to bear the expenses of my family. But, there is a crisis of money,” he added.

‘Ideal Public School’ has been run for 15 years at Matikata in the capital. The number of students in the institution is more than 300. Recently, the school authorities decided to sell the school.

Nargis Akhter, the headmistress of the school said, “We have to spend Tk 1 lakh per month to run this school. I have paid the rent and salaries of the teachers till March. I can’t pay any more. I need a lot of money to pay the rent and salary of staff. Therefore, I have posted a notice to sell the school. If I get the minimum price, I will sell it as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, many additional class teaches under Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project (SEQAEP) and Secondary Education Sector Investment Program (SESIP) projects are now working as day labourers to earn their livelihood.

Md Akhter Hossain, ACT (English) of Koladonia Dakhil Madrasa at Nazirpur of Pirojpur, said, “Many of the additional class teachers of SEQAEP project are living an inhuman life. They have been taking unpaid classes for several months. Now, many of us work as day laborers. There is no one to help us in this corona pandemic.”

It is known that in 2015, the government appointed about 5,200 teachers of English, Mathematics and Science at secondary level in 250 upazilas with the funding of the World Bank.

Although it was initially under the project, it was said that the job would be permanent at the end of the project. However, 19 months have passed since the end of the project, but the job has not been made permanent.

M Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury, chairman of Bangladesh Kindergarten School Unity, said, “About half of the kindergartens in the country would be closed if the closure of educational institutions prolongs further due to coronavirus. At the same time, about 10 lakh teachers and employees will become unemployed. To earn their livelihood, most of them have to change their profession.”

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Education Information and Statistics, there are 1,29, 258 primary educational institutions in the country, including government, kindergarten and NGO run schools. Of those, 65,620 are government primary schools and rest are private.

The total number of secondary institutions are 20,060, of these, only 675 are government. The remaining 19,985 are private.
Besides, there are 4,551 government and private colleges. Of these, 3,900 are private colleges. There are 46 public universities and 105 private universities in the country.

Apart from this, there are several thousands of English medium schools, madrasas and technical educational institutions in the country.