Non-MPO teachers withdraw hunger strike on PM's assurance

Non-MPO teachers withdraw hunger strike on PM’s assurance

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Dhaka, 05 Jan – The teachers and employees of the non-government educational institutions that are out of the Monthly Payment Order (MPO) facilities yesterday fwithdrew their hunger strike after obtaining assurance from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.President of Non-MPO Institutions Teachers-Employees Federation Principal Golam Mahmudunnabi told the journalists that the personal secretary to the prime minister Sajjadul Haque came to them and gave the message from the premier that their demands would be fulfilled.
Quoting Haque, he said, “The prime minister has directed the education ministry to immediately fulfil the demand.”
Replying to a query, he said, “We don’t have any apprehension of not fulfilling our demand because we believe prime minister is committed to her directives. So we did not insist on giving specific date.”
“From today we are withdrawing our programme. Now we would go back to our workplace and continue our normal activities,” he said.
Soon after the announcement, the teachers and employees who carried out their 11-day long programme including five-day sit-in and six-day hunger strike in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital, withdraw the strike.
Soon after getting the assurance of the prime minister, the teachers and employees cheered their victory and started giving slogans ‘Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu,’ ‘We have got MPO’.
Though there is no exact figure of the non-government teachers and employees but it is estimated that around 75,000 teachers and employees of 5,242 non-government educational institutions are not covered by the MPO facilities now.
The government has kept the inclusion of non-government educational institutions under MPO system suspended since 2010.
The teachers and employees of these institutions said they are not getting any salary though they are giving services for a long time. Finding no way, they had come to the street to draw the attention of the government to do something for them. They started sit-in programme on December 26 last and hunger strike since December 31.
Earlier though education minister Nurul Islam Nahid along with other high-up officials of the ministry on January 2 met the teachers in front of the Jatiya Press Club and gave assurance that their demands were fulfilled which needs some time, but the teachers turned down the minister’s assurance.
Then they said they want specific date and the assurance of the prime minister to fulfil their demand. Ultimately, they got it and withdrew the strike.
The teachers said though they suffered under the open sky and in the biting cold of the winter, but they have realised their demand.
During the hunger strike, at least hundred of teachers fell sick on different days and were admitted to hospitals.
Many of them were on intravenous saline therapy as they became weak due to prolonged hunger strike staged in the capital.
They said now they would return to their workplace and do their normal duties in the educational institutions. – Staff Reporter

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