Additional Class Teachers, a section of secondary school teachers -- who were recruited contractually under a project, and have been serving at the schools for three years without pay since the contract ended -- yesterday announced to continue their ongoing hunger strike until their demand for job regularisation is met.
They came up with the announcement on the second consecutive day of the hunger strike, held in front of Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka. Under the banner of Bangladesh Additional Class Teachers' (ACT) Association, several hundred teachers are taking part in the programme.
“We are yet to get any assurance from the government so far; we have been demonstrating since Sunday,” said Mahi Uddin, joint secretary of the association.
“As we have no other option left, we want to continue the hunger strike until our demand is met,” he added.
So far, 20 teachers, including a woman, have become sick in the two days of hunger strike, Mahi said. They were given primary treatment at nearby hospitals.
In 2015, the government recruited a total of 5,200 ACTs under a World Bank-funded project to improve mathematics, science and English skills of students at different secondary schools across the country. The payments of the teachers were halted after the project ended in December, 2017.
Despite the fact, some 4,500 of them continued teaching at the schools as the government, on several occasions, had assured them of making their jobs permanent.
On October 22 last year, the ACTs staged a sit-in in front of the press club demanding that the government make their current jobs permanent.
To press home their demand, the teachers staged another sit-in at the same place on February 3.
On the third day of the demonstration, they staged a symbolic hunger strike. Then, they started the hunger strike on Thursday.