An upgrade in the pay scale for more than 3.2 lakh government primary teachers has been pending for a year as the Finance Division says that jobs of only teachers with at least a second-class bachelor’s degree would be upgraded keeping to the primary school teacher recruitment policy 2019.

The primary education ministry in November 2019 proposed that the Finance Division should upgrade jobs of 3.7 lakh assistant teachers of 65,620 government primary schools to the 12th grade in the national pay scale from the 14th and 15th grades amid teachers’ demand, ministry officials said.  

They said that they proposed for the common raise as teachers belonging to the 15th grade get the 14th grade after completing the mandatory trainings within a year of their appointments.

They said that the Finance Division agreed to elevate to the 13th grade jobs of teachers who had obtained at least second class in their bachelor’s examinations, arguing that it is the minimum qualification of a primary school teacher as stipulated in the recruitment policy 2019.

They said that around 50,000 teachers had at least a second-class bachelor’s degree.

‘The Finance Division’s position is not acceptable as all the teachers got appointments before the enactment of the latest policy in 2019,’ state minister for primary education Md Zakir Hossain told New Age on Tuesday.

‘We requested the division to review its decision and give an equal grade to all the primary school teachers as we gave them commitments that their demand for job upgradation would be fulfilled if they refrain from their agitation programmes,’ he added.

The primary education ministry in a letter on October 7 requested the Finance Division to review its decision, saying that many females after passing the secondary school certificate and equivalent examinations got appointments as primary school teachers as per the appointment policy of 1983 and many women got appointments after completing higher secondary certificate and

equivalent examinations in line with the policy of 2013.

The minimum qualification for male candidates in the appointment policy of 1983 was higher secondary and equivalent certificate and it was bachelor’s degree in 2013, said the letter.

But, all the teachers later took trainings and have been serving with reputation, the letter added.

Primary school teachers said that serving under the grade 14 they get a basic salary of Tk 10,200 with a gross salary of Tk 17,200.

Untrained teachers serving under the grade 15 get a basic salary of Tk 9,700 and a gross salary of Tk 16,590.

In the 13th grade, their basic salary would be Tk 11,000 while the gross salary would be Tk 18,500, they said.

Bangladesh Primary Assistant Teachers’ Society president Md Anisur Rahman said that the primary teachers were frustrated seeing no progress in meeting their demands for pay scale elevation although they had been holding programmes and lobbying the government for upgrading their pay scale to the 11th grade.

‘The government secondary school teachers having equivalent qualifications mentioned in the primary teacher appointment policy of 2019 enjoy salary in the 11th grade,’ he said.

Finance division additional secretary Md Golam Mostofa said that they had been reviewing their opinion after getting the request letter from the primary education ministry.

‘We will give our opinion soon,’ he said.

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