‘Teachers movement not for money but for respect’

The teachers, officials and employees of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (Shekribi) observed a strike for the fourth day demanding the withdrawal of the universal pension ‘Pratya’ scheme. Like the last few days, no departments and administrative offices of the university were opened on Thursday (July 4) either.

On this day, hundreds of teachers held a sit-in program in front of the office of the Faculty of Agriculture from 12 noon to 2 o’clock. Apart from this, the officers and employees of the university held a sit-in program in front of Sheikh Kamal Bhavan from 12 noon to 1 am.

Former member of Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) Professor Dr. Nurjahan Begum said, we have been hearing since childhood that education is the backbone of the nation. So teachers should be given enough respect. Our earnest appeal to the Prime Minister, please help us to keep the backbone of the nation straight. Our job is not to agitate, we don’t condone agitation, we don’t fight for money. We stand for our honor.

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He said, if we were to stand for money, we could have done good research abroad and earned crores of rupees. But we love the country, the people of the country. The Prime Minister also pays attention to many small things. I would say let’s see how we teachers live. We don’t need big cars, houses. We live a very simple life. Our students come in big cars, but we take local buses. No regrets, but you keep our respect.

Professor Dr. Nurjahan Begum also said that currently our country is unable to retain good students. Many talented students do not want to study. Many come into teaching looking at the pension later in life, if that too goes away, good students will not come into teaching.

Professor Dr. Md. Hasanuzzaman said, even if the work is suspended, we have to look at the accounts, look at the assignments, do research, look at the master’s students’ thesis and do various academic work. We are not actually on strike, just classes are closed. All the work has to be done. We want to go back to class-testing again. I want to reduce the loss of students in these few days by taking extra classes. But before that we have to accept our fair demands.

The former vice-chancellor of Shekribi Dr. Md. Sekender Ali said, Finance Minister’s statement is not acceptable. It is the name of giving pension in the name of the scheme. You cover the pension of those who sit in your office before the scheme. You will see that they will also get into the movement.