UNICEF has expressed concerns over the recent attacks on teachers in Bangladesh, calling for their safety and security to be upheld.
“UNICEF stands with the country in condemning these attacks and we call for the safety and security of teachers to be upheld,” UNICEF representative to Bangladesh Sheldon Yett said in a statement on Tuesday, reports bdnews24.com.
“Teachers play a critical role in ensuring children’s right to education. But to do their job – to teach students to think critically, grow to their fullest potential and be good human beings – they need to be able to teach without fear. Attacks on teachers are attacks on education. If we fail to protect teachers from violence, it will be children who ultimately suffer.”
The agency's condemnation came in the wake of two highly-publicised incidents involving teachers last month.
In Narail, Swapan Kumar Biswas, acting principal of Mirzapur United College, was forced to wear a garland of shoes by a mob of Muslim students and locals for purportedly "insulting Islam".
Another teacher, Utpal Kumar Sarker, was beaten to death by a student at the Haji Yunus Ali School and College in Savar earlier this week. The incident sent shockwaves across the country, not least in the teaching community.
Although the motive behind the murder was not clear, the family and police suspect he was targeted for trying to discipline the student. Many also believe their religion made them easy targets, especially in the case of Swapan.