DHAKA – Hundreds of teachers who work in non-government institutions in Bangladesh continued a hunger strike for the third consecutive day on Tuesday as part of an action calling for improved salaries and state support.
Scores of protesting teachers were seen laying on the ground – some clutching placards bearing slogans like “please give me salary” –, while two men were seen carrying a sick colleague off to the hospital.
“Over the past 12 years, I have been working without any pay and living in inhumane conditions,” one of the protesting teachers, Sohrab Hossain, told EFE.
“It’s better to die here than return home with empty hands,” he added.
Sohrab said he gets just over $12 a month at the madrasa school where he works, which has forced him to take on private classes and employment at a store in the evenings so as to supplement his earnings.
Four protesters on Tuesday had to receive basic medical attention due to their action, though none of them were hospitalized, a police spokesperson told EFE.
The government pays some $137 a month – the minimum wage in Bangladesh – to teachers employed at some private institutions as part of the Monthly Pay Order scheme.
There are some 80,000 teachers who work in 5,242 institutions without being paid by the state, Binoy Bhusan Roy, the secretary general of the Federation of Teachers and Employees of Non-MPO Educational Institutions, told EFE.