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     Volume 2 Issue 10 | May 12, 2007 |


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Guru Griho

From Netrokona
Reflections on Netrokona Government College

Bidhan Mitra

Netrokona is a place of bauls. It is a place of folktales and folk music. The district itself is filled with history, but it is also surrounded by a lot of history. The Mymensingh Gitika that inspired Roma Rola so much is a large part of the heritage of the Netrokona district.

The interesting geographical feature of Netrokona is that on one side there are the Garo Mountains that mark off the Indian border. On another side there are the large shoal areas in Sunamganj, full of the rich history of Hasan Raja. On the other two sides are the plains of Mymensingh and Kishoreganj. Because it is surrounded by such immense natural beauty, throughout the history of this country, saints, bauls, thinkers and writers have gravitated towards the region.

Netrokona has always played an important role in the country in terms of humanitarian and educational work. One school to have played a leading role in the history of education in the region is the Netrokona Government College. It also happens to be the district's biggest college.

There are a number of century-old secondary schools in the Netrokona district. Intermediate level education started in this region after the partition. In 1948 a number of educationists took the initiative of establishing a college at what was then the town of Mahukuma. The people involved in this initiative included Ahsan Ali, Akbar Ali, AK Fazlul Haq, Babu Prafulla Haq, Babu Virendra Dutt Chowdhury and others. The place where the college now stands had been donated by the then landlord Babu Virendra Dutt Chowdhury. The college's first classes started being held in Anjuman High School and one room from the Dutt High School was borrowed for the college's administrative purposes. The newly established college was named Netrokona College and Babu Priyobhushan Banik was appointed its Founding Principal.

Over time, this institution started growing in size. Most of the noteworthy development has happened after the nation's independence when the prominent educationist Tasaddak Ahmed was appointed principal. Through his talents, dedication and hard work, not only did the institution grow, it underwent many internal structural changes. For most of his working life, he worked as the principal of the college. Tasaddak Ahmed became something of a patron, an overseer of governmental educational institutes in and around the district.

The college was nationalized in 1980 and the institution was renamed Netrokona Government College. The doors to higher education were opened in this institution in the 1993-1994 academic year when it started an honors program in Bengali and Political Science. Presently, the college is offering honors in 10 subjects and 8 subjects for Masters.

Many eminent people from around the country have served in this college, and not only Tasaddak Ahmed who served for over 18 years. Noted researcher and essayist Dr. Shafiuddin Ahmed and Former Police Chief Inspector Abdul Qaiyum started his career as a teacher in this college. Poet Nirmalendu Goon, Retired Secretary Asaduzzaman Al Faruk and others were students at the college.

Netrokona Government College is the only institution of higher education in this large region of Bangladesh. About seven to eight thousand students are enrolled. There are, however, few teachers per student. The school has had some serious internal problems. There are a couple departments that have over a thousand students. There are only two or three classrooms for all these students. This makes it very hard to teach and go ahead with the curriculum. However, the college's acting principal ANM Mahbubur Rahman Bhuiyan does not think of this as a serious problem. He thinks that with the proper efforts, this problem can be overcome.



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