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Agitating Viqarunnisa students place six demands before school authorities

  • Published at 05:52 pm December 5th, 2018
Web_ Viqarunnisa_Mehedi Hasan
An agitated student of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, holding a placard, tries to stop Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid's vehicle during the protest in front of the institution on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The students continued demonstrating for the second consecutive day on Wednesday

The students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College have put forward a six-point charter of demand on the second day of demonstrations demanding punishment for the principal and the teachers accused of provoking a fellow student to commit suicide. 

Since Wednesday morning, a group of students – including the classmates of the ninth-grader – have been staging demonstrations and holding placards in front of the main gate of the school’s main branch in Bailey Road, Dhaka until the filing of this report at 4pm.

The demands are:

1. Written resignation letters of principal and the accused teachers

2. Exemplary punishment of the above, keeping in accordance with the law

3. An end to all mental and corporal punishment in schools

4. Stop giving threats of issuing transfer certificate over minor issues

5. A counselling system with the help of a psychologist for helping those going through mental afflictions

6. Suspension of all the members of the governing body

On Tuesday night, a case was filed with Paltan police station against Viqarunnisa Principal Nazneen Ferdous, morning shift in-charge Jinat Ara, and Class 9 class teacher Hasna Hena over the girl's suicide by her father.

The deceased's father accused the trio of provoking his daughter to commit suicide.  

Later, the case was transferred to the Detective Branch (DB) of police, DB Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune.

What led to the suicide of the 9th grader? 

The student hanged herself from a ceiling fan at her residence in Shantinagar, Dhaka on Monday.

She was caught with a mobile phone during a school examination, upon which she was accused of cheating, and her parents were called in by the school authorities. 

When the principal of the institution, Nazneen Ferdous, started misbehaving with the student's father, the student ran away from the principal's office and later, her parents found her hanging from a ceiling fan at their house.

She was admitted to a local hospital and later transferred to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, where the on-duty doctors declared her dead.

Probe committees

Two separate probe committees were formed to investigate the suicide.

The government formed a probe committee led by Prof Mohammad Yusuf, director of Dhaka Regional Education office. It was asked to submit its report within three days.

The school authorities also formed a three-member probe committee which was asked to submit its findings within seven days.

Suspension of MPO

Meanwhile, the government on Wednesday suspended the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) benefits of three teachers of the school, including its Principal Nazneen Ferdous, over the student's suicide and subsequent protests.

“These teachers' MPO status has been cancelled,” Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid told reporters in Dhaka.

Under the MPO scheme, the government pays the basic salaries of teachers and employees of listed educational institutions following recommendations by MPs. 

Nahid said the Education Ministry had also ordered the governing body of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College to suspend the three teachers.