Teachers of the country's private primary schools have demanded nationalisation of their institutions.
They made the demand at a human chain formed protesting the government decision to set up 1,000 new government primary schools across the country as per the proposal of the parliamentary standing committee instead of nationalising the 7,223 old private primary schools.
The human chain formed under the banner of 'Bangladesh Newly Nationalised and Private Primary Teachers' Association' in front of the National Press Club on Sunday was attended by more than 300 teachers.
At the event, teachers said, "On 6 January this year, the 11th meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Primary and Mass Education passed a proposal to set up 1,000 new government primary schools, each within a distance of two kilometres from different villages of the country. On the other hand, 7,223 private primary schools are still conducting regular classes, final examinations and online education during the pandemic.
"Day after day, the teachers of these schools are teaching without pay."
They said teachers of this huge number of schools have long been living inhumane lives with their families and children as the institutions are yet to be nationalised.
"We urge the government to nationalise these private primary schools rejecting the proposal to set up new schools. This will greatly reduce the number of villages having no school within two kilometres," they argued.
Nurunnabi, a teacher from a private primary school in Gopalganj, said, "I have been teaching at a private primary school since 1996, but school has not been nationalised yet. I am struggling to support my five children.
"I urge the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education to think about the families of this huge number of poor, helpless teachers like us, we can't go on anymore."
Bangladesh Newly Nationalised and Private Primary Teachers' Association President Kamal Uddin chaired the programme while its General Secretary Sheikh Matiar conducted the event.
Among others, the human chain was also addressed by the organisation's Vice-President Liton Khan, Joint General Secretary Rezaul Karim, Organising Secretary Asaduzzaman Suza, and Mymensingh Division President Abu Sayeed.