Manifestation of incumbents’ lack of respect for teachers
THE Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League, continues to create havoc in educational institutions, with the latest victims of the BCL atrocity being six teachers and some students of Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur. The government, on the other hand, continues to apply violence against non-government primary school teachers demanding monthly pay order from the state. The BCL activists at the Begum Rokeya University on Thursday attacked a section of teachers protesting against the alleged financial corruption by the university’s vice-chancellor. The unruly BCL men loyal to the vice-chancellor, as reported in New Age on Friday, launched an attack on the protesting teachers, beat them up and even splashed battery acid on the teachers who were on the stage, severely injuring the eyes of at least two professors.
This is not the first time that the allegations of financial corruption have been levelled against the vice-chancellor of a university appointed by the government on partisan line. The teachers and students of the Jahangirnagar University had also launched a movement against an allegedly corrupt vice-chancellor a few months ago. There, too, a group of BCL men took side of the embattled vice-chancellor and attacked teachers and students who launched a movement against his financial and administrative malpractices. Clearly, the BCL had been used by the errant university authorities as mercenaries against the teachers and students fighting for better academic environments. In exchange of supporting the allegedly corrupt university authorities, the unruly BCL men have reportedly been rewarded financially, and otherwise, by way of being provided construction contracts to businesspeople and admission to students of their choice. Thus, an axis of ambitious teachers with questionable integrity and a group of greedy BCL members with no principle have been corrupting the environment of educational institutions across the country. In such a situation, the government has hardly made any attempt to streamline the teachers and the BCL leaders and activists, thanks to the parochial partisan interests of the ruling Awami League. Notably, the previous political government of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party indulged in similar practices in the educational institutions.
That the incumbents are least bothered about maintaining sanctity of the educational institutions has also been manifested in its repeated physical assault on primary school teachers. The government deployed the police and the Rapid Action Battalion on Wednesday and Thursday in the capital city to disperse several hundred teachers and employees of non-government schools, colleges and technical educational institutions who are in a movement for the state’s financial contributions to non-government educational institutions in question. In the process, the law enforcers have fired teargas shell, resorted to baton charge and sprayed pepper powder to disperse the teachers. The teachers were not even allowed to stage hunger strike on the premises of the Central Shaheed Minar, which is a symbol for democratic protests against injustices inflicted on the people by any powerful quarters.
We strongly believe that the government should do away with its present practice of supporting the corrupt administration in the universities and the unruly BCL leaders and activists further vitiating academic atmospheres of the educational institutions. Besides, it needs to show respect to the teachers who really have been contributing to the growth of education from the primary schools to the universities.
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