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POST TIME: 24 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
A Jashore school for special children sets an example
UNB, Jashore

A Jashore school for special children sets an example

Children with special needs attend a physical training class in Jashore recently. UNB Photo

A school built with a personal initiative at remote Raghurampur village in Jhikargachha upazila is doing a wonderful job as it is working to groom children with special needs with education and improve the quality of their lives. Abdul Alim and his siblings established ‘Babar Ali Sarder School’ for children with disability and autism after their father’s name with only 10 students in 2004.

The school, which now has about 400 students, has drawn the attention of many for its contributions towards helping special children to grow well but failed to pursue the authorities to provide it some support or enlist it under Monthly Pay Order (MPO). Talking to UNB, school managing committee president Abdul Alim said a tin-roofed school-house was set up in 2004 on 33 decimals of land owned by his wife.

He started collecting children with special needs growing in their families amid negligence from the upazila and nearby areas.

“In its journey, the school has passed a long way. Now, 18 teachers are providing voluntary services for the mental and physical development of the children alongside conducting regular academic activities in nine rooms of a one-storey building,” Alim said.

He also said the school is providing books, papers and snacks to the children.

Towhiduzzaman, headmaster of the school, told UNB that these children are learning sports and getting involved in cultural activities alongside general education at the school.

“The exciting thing is that two of our students joined Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi 2019 and won medals,” he said.

Shahida Khatun, born without legs, completed her Honors and Master’s degrees from Jashore Michael Madhusudhan College, and later joined the institution as its teacher.

“I myself is a handicapped and underprivileged person. I feel proud of being a teacher here. What could be better than this?” Shahida said, adding, “If the government nationalises the school, teachers like me with physical disability would be able to live a better life.”

Sabina Yasmin, mother of a child with autism, said: “My daughter used to sit alone at home all day long, but now she remains engaged in painting and joins sports and cultural activities. There’s no alternative to such school for grooming special children with education.”

Md Wahiduzzaman, upazila social welfare officer, said it is really tough to establish such a school for children with special needs but this school is doing a very good job.

“We’ve visited the school and saw its activities, he said adding, “We’ll soon send a report to the authorities concerned for bringing it under MPO facility.”