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     Volume 2 Issue 8 | April 14, 2007 |


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From Sylhet
Yakuti Begum: In Memoriam

Iqbal Siddiquee

Yakuti Begum, an educationist with a memorable personality is still fondly remembered by the people of Sylhet, even years after her death. This woman, for 14 years led an institution like the Sylhet Sarkari Agragami Balika Bidyalaya, which is one of the few century old institutions of the region. She was one of a handful of people, who had given devoted and sincere service to the school. Under her watchful administration and unique leadership, the school achieved much during the 14 years up until 1979.

Yakuti Begum was born on 18 October of 1917 in a Muslim family of Dibrugarh in the Indian state of Assam. She passed matriculation in 1935 from Dibrugarh Government Girls High School and then passed her IA and BA respectively in 1937 and in 1939 from Calcutta Bethoon College.
After a year, she went back to her own school, Dibrugarh Government Girls High School. She joined there as a teacher this time. She got her BT degree from the Saint Mary's College in Shillong in 1946. Yakuti Begum got married to a man from the same profession on 27 September of 1951. Md. Abdur Rahman was then serving as a teacher in the Sylhet Government Pilot Boys' High School. After a year, she joined in the Nawab Faizunnesa Government Girls' High School of Comilla in 1952. As she served there for about 13 years with her boundless efficiency and extraordinary talent, Yakuti was promoted and transferred to the Sylhet Sarkari Agragami Girls' High School as Assistant Head Mistress in 1965.

The then Pakistan government honored her with the Tamgha-e-Khedmat award for her excellence in the profession and extraordinary service to the cause of education.
Within months, Yakuti Begum was promoted to the position of Headmistress and earned herself an excellent reputation as an exceptional educationist and administrator. She earned the respect of not only her colleagues, but of the general public.

After 40 years of serving in the cause of bringing education to girls, this great educationist breathed her last on 12 June of 2003. This enlightened personality, who was a true example of what a teacher should be, left behind innumerable students and admirers at home and abroad to mourn her death. She is survived by all of her admirers in addition to her 3 daughters and 2 sons and other grand daughters and relatives. All of her children are well established. Her students as well as the people of Sylhet will keep Yakuti Begum close to their hearts.


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