The indefinite hunger strike of the madrasa teachers rolled onto the fifth day yesterday with at least 30 teachers falling sick and 21 more being given intravenous saline drip.
At least 124 teachers fell ill and six of them had been hospitalised till yesterday, said Qazi Ruhul Amin Chowdhury, president of the organisation leading the demonstration.
A few hundred teachers under the banner of “Bangladesh Swatantra Ebtedai Madrasa Shikkhak Samity” started the hunger strike in front of Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday, demanding that the government nationalise the ebtedai madrasas that teach students from class I to V.
“Five days have passed by, we haven't got any response from the government,” said Ruhul.
Kibria Khatun, a madrasa teacher from Joypurhat, said, “I'll not leave until the government meets our demand.”
There are around 48,000 teachers of around 10,000 madrasas who are not getting any pay, since the institutions got registered under the Madrasa Education Board in 1984.
In 1994, some 6,776 teachers of 1,519 madrasas started getting Tk 500 as allowances through a government circular.
Later in 2013, the government elevated the amount to Tk 1,000. In 2016-17, the government increased the allowances of headteachers to Tk 2,500 and assistant headteachers to Tk 2,300.
But the rest of the teachers have not been paid any allowance from the government since 1984, said the teachers.
Meanwhile, with the same demand, a section of school and college teachers of MPO-enlisted institutions decided to begin their hunger strike in front of the press club from tomorrow instead of today due to Biswa Ijtema, said GM Shawon, joint secretary general of Besharkari Shikkhak Karmachari Forum.