The Bangladesh Disabled School Teachers' Association formed a human chain demanding recognition of schools for the disabled, MPO enrolment and the improvement of students' living standards.
More than five hundred teachers participated in the protest in front of the National Press Club on Monday.
Arifur Rahman Apu, convener of the Bangladesh Disabled School Teachers Association, presented 11 demands for students with disabilities and their teachers, at the event.
The demands are for: the recognition and MPO enrolment of schools in accordance with the Comprehensive Special Education Policy on Disability, ensuring a 100% salary-allowance and all benefits from the date of recognition, providing a 100% stipend to students with disabilities in all schools, ensuring the distribution of free textbooks in all schools according to the education curriculum of the school for the disabled, and students to be served healthy food.
The demands also include: ensuring all educational materials are provided as per the demand of the schools, ensuring regular monitoring of schools for the disabled, providing all relevant facilities – including quality development training of teachers and staff, ensuring all the schools have modern disability-friendly buildings, introducing therapy centres with the provision of modern therapy equipment in schools for the disabled, and ensuring students lead a self-reliant life with employment at the end of their education.
Arifur Rahman, a teacher of Gaibandha's Ahmedpur School for the Intellectually Handicapped and Autism, told The Business Standard, "I have not received a penny from the school in seven years; I am living a dehumanised life with my children and family. On top of that, we provide the necessary transportation support, food and educational materials for the students with our own money; otherwise they do not want to come to the school."
"We are calling on the government to nationalise about 2,000 schools for the disabled across the country and to take appropriate steps to help the underprivileged," he added.