Six primary school teachers, who were observing a hunger strike unto death in protest of salary discrimination, have been hospitalised as they fell ill.
Their colleagues immediately took them to Dhaka Medical College Hospital around 11:30am on Sunday.
The teachers are Md Abu Taleb of Sadullapur upazila in Gaibandha, Saleha Akter of Raipur upazila in Lakhshmipur, Ainal Haq of Dhunat upazila in Bogra, Rafiqul Islam of Chandpur Sadar upazila, Siddiqur Rahman of Durgapur upazila in Rajshahi and Jahid Hasan of Mathbaria upazila in Pirojpur.
When asked, Fazle Rabbi, a assistant teacher from Gaibandha, who was also accompanying Taleb in the protest, said: “Some of our teachers have been taken to DMCH after they fell ill. Many others on the hunger strike are also feeling unwell.”
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Primary school teachers were seen sitting in front of the Central Shaheed Minar on December 24, 2017 Focus Bangla
The development came as several hundred primary school teachers started fasting unto death demanding that their salary discrimination be resolved, in front of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka at 10am on Saturday.
Around 11pm, it was noticed that more than 500 teachers were still continuing their protest despite the cold.
Other than some tents, most of the teachers were either lying or sitting on the Central Shaheed Minar premises under the open sky.
Many of them were seen clad in thin shawls in a bid to keep themselves warm.
There were some others who did not even have warm clothes. They merely wrapped themselves with the protest banners to protect themselves from the cold.
Meanwhile, many others were seen either sitting or walking on the roads adjoining the protest venue.
According to the protesting teachers, there had been the difference of just a single grade between the salary structures of headmasters and assistant teachers in 1973.
The difference was doubled in 2006, which jumped to a three-grade difference eight years later.
Though the latest changes in the pay scale for the school teachers promoted the headmasters in the 11th grade in 2014, assistant teachers are still languishing in the 14th grade.
In addition, the proposed salary structure of primary school teachers has recommended upgrading the headmasters to the 10th grade.
Citing the issues, the assistant teachers vowed to continue their hunger strike until the problem is addressed.
The article was first published on Bangla Tribune