The hunger strike of teachers demanding enlistment into the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) system is gaining pace and seeing participation of hundreds others as it enters day four.
What was a demonstration of about 200 teachers in front of Jatiya Press Club for the last few days grew to well around a thousand when last reported this afternoon.
So far, at least 50 teachers have fallen sick and five hospitalised, Golam Mahmudunnabi, president of Non-MPO Educational Institution Teacher-Staff Federation, told The Daily Star.
The latest to have been rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital was Binoy Bhushan Roy, secretary of banner and the man who stood up yesterday and rejected the assuring words of the education minister.
Yesterday, Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid assured the teachers of fulfilling their demands, what was rejected outright in demand for a specific time frame for solution.
According to the minister, the finance ministry has agreed to go for an MPO enlistment. But, the teachers say they need the word from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before going back home.
About 80,000 teachers currently employed in 5,242 government-recognised schools all over Bangladesh are not under a pay scheme. They do not receive any payment, some for well over decades.
This is because the schools do not have the ability to pay the teachers, while the government stopped enlisting the institutions for MPO due to a "fund crisis".