While the government primary school teachers have to go through a long arduous process to get their retirement benefits because of corruption and the slow pace of work at the relevant offices, one District Primary Education Officer (DPEO) of Jashore has set an example of efficiency. As this daily reported on March 13, this education officer made sure that the 85 primary school teachers who have gone on retirement and the 42 others who have gone on post retirement leave (PRL) in the last one year in the district get the necessary documents—the PRL order and the pension sanction documents—on time and without any hassle.
With the meagre salary they get, the government primary school teachers struggle to make both ends meet. And the financial and other benefits they are entitled to after their retirement are also not adequate. What is more, even to get those benefits, they have to go to the offices concerned several times and grease the palms of the officials. Recently, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has identified how government officials, including primary school teachers, are harassed and forced to pay bribes at accounts offices for getting salaries and pension benefits. According to the corruption watchdog, accounts offices at divisional, district and upazila levels, operated by the Office of the Controller General of Accounts under the finance ministry, make delays in issuing the necessary documents. This culture must change. The example set by the DPEO in Jashore should be emulated by other government offices. Finally, the government must ensure that the primary school teachers as well as other government employees get their retirement benefits on time and without any trouble.