Teachers' strike at JU
The ongoing boycott of classes by teachers at the department of Geography and Environment of Jahangirnagar University, resulting in the suspension of all classes and exams, defies logic. The faculty members had been staying away from the department for more than two weeks now—reportedly for the failure of the university administration to take legal action against a colleague who allegedly threatened them, bringing in outsiders. The students, worried about an ensuing session jam and, ultimately, their future, staged a sit-in demanding resumption of the department's academic activities.
We alarmingly note that, in the recent years, the institution, considered one of the best public universities in the country, has frequently been in the news for reasons other than academic, such as campus violence and prolonged teachers' strikes.
Teachers may have their fair share of grievances which must be addressed properly and adequately. What gives them the right to refuse to teach, a task they are paid to do with taxpayers' money? Why should the students suffer for a dispute among teachers? Who takes responsibility if the ongoing boycott leads to a session jam in the department? How much worse can governance get in this country?
We are not impressed with the half-hearted response of the university authority which has formed a committee to probe into the matter. The vice chancellor should do everything to make sure that academic activities resume without delay.