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     Volume 1 Issue 3 | August 5, 2006 |


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Behind the Scene

From Magura

Night Guard Turns Vanguard

Taimur Rahman

A noble dream of Mahbub, a distressed night guard of Singra bazar has turned into a reality. Through his incessant efforts, he has finally succeeded in establishing an English medium school at Singra, a village in the interior of Shalikha upazila of Magura district.

The Lyceum International English School founded by Mahbub has already earned reputation and generated great eagerness among the guardians in the area. It is almost unbelievable to find that this year the number of students in this school has reached a total of hundred and twenty-eight in the classes from play group to five. That at a remote village, about seventeen kilometers from the district headquarters, with practically an illiterate population, should habe an English medium school is a staggering thought.

Forty year old Khondokar Mahbubur Rahman is the sixth son among the eight sons of Late Golam Mowla, a village physician of Shablat in Talkhari union of Shalikha upazila. After doing his B.A. in 1989 from Kumarkhali College in Faridpur district, Mahbub started his career as a teacher in Al-Rabeta Cadet Mission at Chachra in Jesore district. Unfortunately, however, he was discharged from his job because of a dispute among the directors of the school. Since then he has been determined to establish a school. In the mean time, without a means to sustain himself financially, Mahbub was forced to take the job of a night guard at Singra bazar.

In the year 2000, with the cordial cooperation of Abul Bashar, the lecturer of Shaheed Serajuddin Hossain College, and the small saving that he had been building up painstakingly, Mahbub founded the Lyceum school. At the beginning he had hired a room of Dhaneswargati UP office, Mahbub informed this writer. “After about four years' efforts, last year I was able to buy a plot of land measuring six decimals at the western side of Singra Thoipara road where we built two tin-shed rooms. It's here that the students are being taught at present”, a persistent Mahbub said with a smiling face.

The school has opened a gate of employment opportunity especially for females as ten out of the total eleven teachers of the school are females, except only the founder headmaster Mahbubur Rahman. “Local peoples' days of worries are over now since they don't have to go to far away districts or the upazila headquarters for giving quality education to their children. Lyceum International School has almost overnight become their saviour”, opined the local Union Parishad Chairman.

The school has some distinctive features of its own. Mahbub himself drives a Nasimon (a shallow-engine propelled three wheeled vehicle known as 'tempo') to bring the students to school by 9.00 am and to get them back to their houses after classes break up at 3.00 pm. Then, the teachers and students address one another as 'tumi', the more endearing term in Bangla for 'you' which is also a remarkable feature in the context of our culture where the elders are always respectfully addressed as 'apni'. The Independence Day, The Victory Day, Pahela Baishakh, the International Mother Language Day and such other national occasions are observed in the school with considerable enthusiasm. Overcoming the distance of age between him and his students, Mahbub is on friendly terms with them. Tanjila, a student of class one proudly says, “Mahbub Sir knows the names of all students. He has memorized them all.”

Mahbubur Rahman, the night guard turned vanguard says, “I have established the school as I could never forget how I lost my job at a school. My only dream since then had been to enlighten the children of my village with proper education that will teach them to respect and love all in the society.” Then he adds shyly, “If I get proper patronisation, I desire to expand the educational activities of the school by appointing a highly educated headmaster in place of myself.”

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