40 Years of Zaheda Shafir Mohila College Government Zaheda Shafir Mohila College in Jamalpur District town has been around for 40 years. It was established by businessman, politician and social worker Shafir Uddin Ahmed and named after his wife Zaheda Begum in 1967. The college was established on 4.20 acres of land. Shafir Uddin joined the anti-British movement in 1931 and was later sent to jail. He died at his residence in Jamalpur town on December 21, 1970. The college was nationalized in 1980.
The college began as Jamalpur Girls' High School with two groups Science and Humanities. Later it expanded to its present size. Abdul Aziz was appointed as the first principal and in-charge of the college in 1967 and he continued to serve until 1973.
The principals who served the college with great sincerity before it was nationalized are Abdul Aziz, Begum Shamina Ali, Begum Akhtar, Begum Fatema Khatun (In-Charge) and Shafi Ahmed (In-charge).
The principals after the college was nationalized are -- Prof. Johra Banu Hamid Jubiree, Prof. Prasunna Kumar Dey, Prof. Rawshan Ara Rashid, Prof. Md. Abdul Khaleq, Prof. AYM Ekram-ud-dulah, Prof. Ahindranath Chowdhury, Mir Ansar Ali (In-charge), Prof. Mustafa Kamal Uddin, Prof. Syed Aminur Rashid, Masum Alam Khan (In-charge), Prof. MN Nusrat Sultana, Prof. Abdul Halim Bhuiyan, Prof. Altaf Hossain and present principal of the college Prof. Md. Abdur Razzak.
Honours in six subjects were introduced in this college along with Intermediate and Degree courses in 2005. The subjects taught in honours level are Bengali, Political Science, Islamic History and Culture, Philosophy, Zoology and Mathematics. Now the college has 1200 students including some 200 students in the honours level. But the college has a serious scarcity of teachers in rendering education in honours courses. Now the college has a staff requirement of 50 teachers who are supposed to run the Intermediate and Degree courses. The college only has a staff of 43 teachers and seven posts are lying vacant including one in the English Department, college sources said. Students of this college have no opportunity to study Commerce as the discipline is yet to be introduced in this college.
After running the college with just a few students in 1967, it got the attention of guardians of Jamalpur as well as adjoining Tangail and Sherpur districts. They came forward to educate their female wards who forced the college authority to build a hostel to accommodate the increasing number of students coming from far away places. A hostel was started in the college boundary in 1975. Later the number of seats in the hostel was increased and now the number is 170. But more than 300 students reside in the hostel now as the college has been unable to make arrangements to accommodate the increasing number of students, according to sources. As the hostel facility is not up to the increasing demand, many girl students could not get the opportunity to be admitted into the college, the sources added.
The college has a library that contains some 7000 books. But after the introduction of honours courses, the demand for books has increased. A good number of books has been given to the seminar rooms for the honours students. The college played a big role in educating women of the district, says Prof. Masum Alam Khan. Female students coming from Dhanbari, Madhupur and Janchhatra in Tangail, Jhenaigati, Nalitabari and Nakla in Sherpur and all other upazilas of Jamalpur had the opportunity to get educated. Many girls would have been deprived of an education had this college not been established.
The college presently has no auditorium to hold cultural and other programmes. “As the college has no auditorium, it is hard to arrange cultural programmes for the students”, said Sheikh Md. Abul Hossain, Assistant Professor of Political Science. “Recently we arranged a cultural week in the college”, he added.
Right now the library needs more books and modern facilities so that the students can keep up with what is relevant in today's world.
Born at village Sajanmegh in Faridganj upazila of Chandpur district in 1950, the son of Sirajul Hoque and Maksuda Khatun, the current principal Prof. Razzak did his Honours and Masters in English from Dhaka University in 1971 and 1972 respectively and joined the teaching profession in 1975.
An author of several books, Prof. Razzak smiled and said that he had great love for his profession as it helped him be involved in the future of the country.
(R) thedailystar.net 2008