Rallies were organized in various places
The historic Education Day of Dhaka University was observed Friday with a call to introduce a scientific, single-stream, pro-people, and uniform education system for all in the country.
Different student organizations made the call from separate rallies and discussion programs marking the day.
The day was observed to commemorate the sacrifice of students Mostafa, Babul and Wajiullah, who were killed in police shooting while staging a demonstration against the SM Sharif Education Commission formed in 1962.
Since then, students and teachers have been observing September 17 as Education Day, demanding a scientific, single-stream, pro-people, and secular education system in the country.
The day’s programs started with the placing of floral wreaths at the Shikkha Odhikar Chattar monument near the Supreme Court compound by different student organisations.
Bangladesh Chhatra League, Bangladesh Chhatra Odhikar Parisad, Bangladesh Chhatra Union, Socialist Students’ Front and other organisations placed wreaths at the Shikkha Odhikar Chattar monument.
However, Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), refrained from doing so.
Left leaning student organization Socialist Student Front, Bangladesh Student Union, and the Progressive Students Alliance separately staged rallies.
Bangladesh Student Union staged their rally at the Shoparjito Shadhinota Sculpture. Dhaka University Mass Communication and Journalism Professor Kaberi Gayen and Economics Professor MM Akash were present, among others.
Kaberi Gayen said: “We have betrayed the blood of the martyrs of the ‘62 education movement. After independence, all the governments promised a pro-people, non-communal education policy but they didn’t keep their commitment.
“Education has been subtly commercialized; I believe that the student union will play a role in formulating a public friendly education policy,” she added.
MM Akash said: “The streets need to be blooded with the blood of students and labourers simultaneously to bring about a mass-friendly education policy like the education movement of 1962.’
Besides, Socialist Student Front staged their discussion program at the foot of the anti-terrorism Raju Memorial Sculpture with the presence of Jahangirnagar University Economics Professor Anu Muhammad.
Professor Anu Muhammad said: “During the Covid pandemic, the crisis in the country's education sector becomes many times higher than any other time. But the role of the state was indifferent throughout this time. As a result, Bangladesh secured top position in terms of closing down educational institutions.
“The ruling group wants to stop the protest against it by showing various rules and regulations. But when the rules are anti-people and supportive of looters, it becomes the duty of educated people to break those rules and the ruling class does not want everyone to be educated. This is why the ruling class has turned public universities into flattering institutions to keep their suppression alive,” he added.
Leaders and activists of Islami Shasantantra Chhatra Andolan also held a rally on the campus marking the day.
The Progressive Students Alliance organized a rally in front of the Central Shaheed Minar.
They also demanded cancellation of educational fees and mess rent, government grants for students during the Covid-19 pandemic to buy devices to ensure participation in online classes, as well as grants for non-government teachers.