Demands of non-MPO listed teachers should at least be considered
Serajul Islam Chowdhury, Professor Emeritus, Dhaka University : The demands of non-MPO listed teachers should at least be considered. If the quality of education is to be improved, the quality of life of teachers should also be as well. There is no alternative to increasing their salaries if we are to see an improved education system. When teachers take to the streets in protest, in constant hunger strikes, we have to understand that they have nothing left to lose.
Their self-respect comes from their salaries – this is the primary demand. This is why their demands should at least be given importance, so that they can return to their workplaces and perform their duties reassured.
Education is not prioritized in our country. This has also been reflected in our national budget – the allocation for our education sector is insufficient. This proves that education is not given enough importance even at the national level. If the education system itself is not given importance, how can teachers? The education sector is divided into three parts: English medium teachers are well off, but the continuous hunger strikes reflect the awful condition of mainstream teachers.
Actually, teachers have no choice other than to protest. This shows how truly desperate they are. In a sense, it can be said that they are helpless. The government should divert their attention to this problem, but it is not paying any heed. The unfortunate reality is that the teachers are protesting daily, yet they are being ignored at the national level.
Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Abrar Hussain