Hardship, ‘Balik Kampung’ allowances for rural teachers
PUTRAJAYA: The government has approved the payment of a special allowance based on location and hardship (EKMLTK) and the “Balik Kampung” allowance (EBK) to teachers and support staff posted to schools in the interior areas, effective May 1.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, when announcing this, said 15,499 teachers and 3,797 support staff would benefit from the new EKMLTK allowance of between RM500 and RM1,500 and incurring an additional expenditure of more than RM187 million a year to the government.
“The payment will be credited into their salary beginning this month,” he told reporters after a meeting with representatives from 24 teachers’ unions in the country at the ministry here yesterday.
He said both the allowances were only for teachers and support staff under the ministry, comprising permanent, contract, temporary and attachment personnel.
Prior to this, the Education Ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General (Finance and Development) Datuk Fatimah Md. Deni had announced that the government had agreed in principle to increase the incentive allowance for teachers in the interior areas to up to RM1,500, from the current rate which was 10 per cent of their basic salary.
Hishammuddin said the rate for the hardship allowance would depend on the status of the schools adding that the schools would be classified into three categories.
He said the classification of the schools would be based on several criteria like the mode of transport, travelling risks, water and electricity supply, accommodation and telecommunication.
“For a husband and wife pair working in the interior areas, only one of them is eligible for the hardship allowance while their spouses will automatically get the `balik kampung’ allowance,” he added.
He said the “balik kampung” allowance was a new incentive to be given once a year to teachers, the support staff and their families.
“This allowance will benefit about 100,000 teachers, support staff and their families and will involve an allocation of RM2 million a year,” he added.
He said to be eligible to receive the “balik kampung” allowance officers would have to serve in the interior areas for at least six months.
Source : The Borneo Post Online