120-year-old school in Jhenaidah in a shambles

Published : 30 Sep 2023 09:47 PM | Updated : 30 Sep 2023 09:47 PM

Wazir Ali High School, a 120-year-old educational institution in Jhenaidah town, is in a shambles, with students and teachers struggling to make do with limited facilities.

The school has no common room for boys, sports materials, or space for cultural activities. The abandoned dilapidated library building is in danger of collapse, putting hundreds of students’ lives at high risk.

Even no Shahid Minar was constructed at the educational institute for an unknown reason, said the teachers, students and president of the school management committee.

Despite its poor condition, the school has been performing well in annual and board examinations. However, the lack of basic facilities is hampering the students' overall development.

Class eight student Likhan Mandal said both boys and girls students of their school face troubles for want of sports materials and room. They are also deprived form any cultural activities for the same reason, Likhan Mandal said.

Another learner Sristi Khatun said they were unlucky enough to participate in any spots and cultural events for want of venue and practices. The students move here and there to place floral wreaths following international mourning day, Independence Day, May Day, Victory Day and other occasions for want of a Shahid Minar. 

They move indiscriminately during the tiffin hours, although the students have the potentials, both Likhan Mandal and Sristi Khatun said. 

A number of mothers staying for hours together at the varanda of the building when contacted said they stay there sending their children to school as there was no secondary option to them for waiting.

Wazir Ali High School and College principal Nahid Akther when contacted said the institution was established by a jaminder family member Wazir Ali Biswas of Kotcandpur in 903. Initially it was a madrashah, while turned to a junior high school in 1965. Since its inception the school has been playing glorious role in annual examinations as well as board examinations. The students ignoring all of their odds have been playing significant role o in spots, cultural events and other issues.  The abandoned library building became a safe dene of snakes. But the common students rush their ignoring the warning to go there.

According to the principal, 30 teachers of the institution have been providing services in 10 classrooms as against at least 15 rooms. A lone two-storied building and three single storied building was not enough the children and teachers, Principal Nahid Akther said. 

The school management committee has blamed the lawmakers for the school's neglect. They claim that the lawmakers have not issued any letters to the ministry or raised the issue in parliament.

Wazir Ali High School and College managing committee president Ashfaq Mahmud John when contacted said he could not understand why his educational institute was the victim of local politics. As the concerned lawmakers neither had issued any draft official (DO) letter to the ministry, nor raised the same in the parliament for the 120 years old and capable institution.  

Regarding construction of a shahid minar at the school premises, the school president said only the education department authorities might tell it better. 

The plight of Wazir Ali High School is a reflection of the sorry state of education in Bangladesh. Many schools in the country lack basic facilities, and students are struggling to get a quality education.

The government needs to take urgent steps to improve the condition of schools across the country. This includes providing schools with adequate funding, renovating dilapidated buildings, and ensuring that all students have access to the resources they need to succeed.