Rajshahi, July 9 (V7N)- Teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) have continued their all-out strike for the ninth consecutive day, braving the rain, to demand the repeal of the universal pension ‘Pratyay Scheme’ and the introduction of a separate pay scale for teachers. They have stated that this movement will continue until their demands are met.
On Tuesday (July 9), they held this program from 11 a.m. on Paris Road adjacent to the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Senate Building of the university. When it started raining, they were seen standing with umbrellas.
When asked about this, Dr. Pranab Kumar Pandey, a professor in the Public Administration Department, said, “University teachers do not want to strike either. But due to the situation, teachers have taken to the movement to implement their demands. The General Secretary of the Awami League wanted to sit with the teachers but could not due to his busy schedule. I believe Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will take a logical decision and stand by the teachers once she returns to the country.”
He further said, “A comparative analysis of the recent pay structures of teachers shows that Bangladesh lags far behind neighboring countries. If teachers are included in the Pratyay Scheme, talented students will not want to join the noble profession of teaching in the future, which will bring about a disaster for the nation. We trust that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will return to the country, hold discussions, and make a logical decision.”
Dr. Md. Habibur Rahman, President of the RU Teachers' Association, said, “We have no option to return home without freeing university teachers from the Pratyay Scheme. We are cornered now. We did not accept the explanation given by the Ministry of Finance regarding teachers. Our movement will continue until our demands are met. Only the university teachers can sustain our movement.”
He also said, “There are 403 classes in the Pratyay Scheme. Since they are not protesting, we cannot take responsibility for them. We are here to withdraw the names of university teachers from the Pratyay Scheme. Some vested interests are trying to divert our position, but they will not succeed. We will continue our program until our demands are met.”
At the time, about fifty teachers were present at the program.
It is worth noting that following the issuance of the related notification by the Ministry of Finance on March 13, various forms of protests including statements, collection of mass signatures, human chains, symbolic strikes, submission of memorandums, and sit-in programs have been held.
Due to no action from the government, half-day strikes were observed in the universities on June 25, 26, and 27, and a full-day strike on June 30. They have been observing an all-out strike since July 1.