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Saturday, January 27, 2018 11:03:16 PM
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Govt should not overlook teachers` demand

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THE guardians and students are getting worried, as the thousands of MPO listed teachers at secondary schools and madrasas threatened to boycott Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations. The New Nation yesterday reported that guardians are deeply concerned about our children's future. They are already in frustration after hearing the threat of the teacher's exam boycott.

With the approach of SSC and equivalent exams scheduled to start from February 1, the two-day work abstention in support of their demand for nationalization of their institutions has choked academic activities. Following the on-going hunger strike in front of the Jatiya Press Club, the work abstention is a degree of pressure on the government to realize their demand. But the government's unwillingness to meet their demand is making the situation complex. We ask both the protesting teachers and the government to reach a common point as teachers deserve the highest attention in the country and the government has a resource constraint.

If the scheduled examinations are delayed for the abstention of teachers, it would hinder the stamina and preparedness of the students and push them into uncertainty. If the teachers continue their strike and boycotts the SSC examinations, the situation would be worse.  It will be impossible for the government to hold the examinations as there would be no one to invigilate or assess. The agitating teachers' point of no return and the government's nonchalance to the teachers' demand ahead of the largest public examinations are both threatening to education. The agitating teachers said they will wait till January 29 and if the government fails to meet their demands before January 28 they would take the decision to boycott SSC examinations' invigilation.

A total of 177 teachers fell sick and 30 of them were given intravenous saline drips since the hunger strike started on January 15, 2018. There are some five lakh teachers and employees of 37,000 MPO-listed academic institutions in the country. About 25 lakh students are likely to take part in this year's examinations.

The government should invest more in education to attain the sustainable development goals and meet the target of a middle-income country by 2021. The state of education, from the primary to the tertiary levels in the country is undergoing hard times due to poor quality of infrastructure, obsolete syllabuses, untrained teachers, and acute shortage of educational equipment. Teachers should get more attention in the country as the teachers are the groomer of future generations. As the country is blessed with a demographic dividend the government should increase the education budget manifold. To impart quality education, quality teachers are mandatory. The teachers' demand for nationalization is not for luxury but for job security that ultimately improves their ability to impart knowledge to the future generations.

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