Primary teachers threaten to boycott PEC exam


Demonstrating Bangladesh Primary Assistant Teachers’ Alliance on Wednesday threaten that they would boycott the upcoming Primary Education Completion (PEC) Examination, scheduled for November 17, if their demand for upgrading their salary scale is not met by November 13.

Their demands include upgrading of the assistant teachers’ salary from 14th to 11th grade and for the head teachers from 11th to 10th grade on the National Pay Scale as well as elimination of pay disparity. Atikur Rahman, chief convener of the Bangladesh Primary Teachers Oikkya Parishad, made the announcement after police thwarted their assembly in front of the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital.

Bangladesh Primary School Teachers’ Unity Council Convener Hanifur Rahman said: "If our demands are not met within November 13, and our meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is not arranged, we will boycott the PEC exam scheduled for November 17." Earlier, agitating several hundred primary school teachers demonstrated in Dhaka’s Doyel Chattar area, as Police prevented them staging demonstration in front of the Shaheed Minar.

The agitating teachers claimed some 20 of them were injured and one was arrested, and later was released, when police confronted to disperse them from the spot. They blocked the road from Doyel Chattar to Shaheed Minar, causing heavy traffic gridlock in Dhaka University and Dhaka Medical College Hospital areas.

Ramna zone deputy commissioner, Sajjadur Rahman said that the alliance had no permission to host any programme on the spot either from the Dhaka University or Dhaka Metropolitan Police authorities. The government earlier ordered the authorities concerned to make sure the government primary school teachers did not leave their respective work stations on Wednesday, a holiday for all schools on the occasion on Akheri Chahar Shomba, fearing ‘disorder’ over the teachers’ prescheduled rally in Dhaka.

Notably, The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education proposed to upgrade their salary structure -- 10th grade for headmasters and 12th grade for assistant teachers. There are 65,902 primary schools in Bangladesh, which employs 3,25,000 assistant teachers and 42,000 headmasters.