Thousands of students launch a fresh movement as government fails to honour its promise to end quota in government jobs.

Bangladesh students demand abolition of job quota system

বুধবার, ১৬ মে ২০১৮ | ৯:১৭ অপরাহ্ণ |

Bangladesh students demand abolition of job quota system

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Thousands of university students in Bangladesh are boycotting classes as part of a nationwide protest, with demonstrators blocking the main thoroughfare in the capital, Dhaka, on Monday, calling for the abolition of the quota system in government jobs.

The latest protest comes a month after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the abolition of the country’s decades-old quota system used in the recruitment of civil servants, but no concrete steps were taken to cancel it.

Muhammad Rashed Khan, joint convener of “Council to Protect Bangladesh’s General Students Rights” told Al Jazeera that they had been holding peaceful demonstrations since the announcement made by the prime minister.

“Thirty-two days have passed, but no gazette notification in this regard has been published yet. We have no option but to be on the streets again,” said Khan.

He led a procession of around 3,000 protesters at Dhaka University on Monday, suspending all classes and tutorials.

At Chittagong University, about 1,000 protesting students have been staging a sit-in on the rail tracks. No trains have left the port city for the campus since morning.

“Unless a gazette notification is issued about quota abolishment, we will not leave streets and will launch a tougher movement,” said Khan.

Quota system

Under the quota system, 56 percent of the nearly 3,000 government positions – which are filled through annual examination – are assigned under various quotas, leaving only 44 percent of spots for general category students.

About 50,000 students from all 38 public universities and around 50 of the 96 private universities protested for three days straight in April, forcing Prime Minister Hasina to promise the abolition of the quota system.

On May 8, a day after the deadline set by students, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said, “There’s no progress in cancelling quota system.”

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