Nahid requests them to go back to classes
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday mentioned that the government was working on the demands of the public university teachers, and requested them to continue with regular academic activities instead of agitating over the eighth payscale.
"The teachers are saying that they will not work, conduct classes and hold exams. It is not logical. I request them to go ahead with regular classes and admission tests," Nahid said.
He was addressing journalists before a coordination meeting at his ministry in the capital.
The minister said the government has already reconstituted the cabinet committee to review and resolve complaints regarding "discriminations" in the eighth payscale.
"The education ministry is also looking after the teachers' interests," said Nahid. Therefore, there is no reason to suspend classes, examinations and admission processes, he added.
Under the banner of the Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers' Association (FBUTA), teachers of all 37 public universities have been demonstrating for the last four months to press home their four-point demand, including a separate salary structure for them.
They intensified their agitation after the cabinet approved the new payscale on September 7.
They complained that the post of selection grade professors (senior teachers) has been abolished in the new payscale, although bureaucrats have got a special grade for themselves.
The FBUTA leaders said they will announce their next programmes on October 6.
The four-hour meeting discussed the progress of the ongoing development projects under the ministry.
Officials of the ministry's planning division informed that 17 out of 52 new projects of the ministry were sent to the Planning Commission for approval. The projects include building new educational institutes, constructing school buildings, expanding technical education, and modernising madrasa education.
PRIMARY TEACHERS' DEMO
Assistant teachers of government primary schools yesterday observed work stoppage for two hours to press home their demands, including upgrading their salaries to the 11th grade and reinstating the selection grade.
The teachers, under the banner of Bangladesh Prathamik Shahokari Shikkhak Oikya Jote, a platform of five teachers' organisations, would observe full-day work abstention tomorrow.
"We did not give classes during this period," Ataur Rahman, chief coordinator of the platform, told The Daily Star. He said they would observe a token hunger strike on October 15 and boycott the primary terminal examination if their demands were not met.
Meanwhile, leaders of Primary Assistant Teachers Federation, another platform of four organisations of assistant teachers, announced four-hour work abstention every day from October 4 to 8, and full-day work stoppage every day from October 10 to 15 at all government primary schools, pressing for the same demands.
Currently, the salary of the teachers is of the 13th grade.