Muminunnisa Mohila College:
Enlightening women for decades
Muminunnisa Mohila College is now a big banayan tree full of fruits and flowers. However, it started its journey with only a few students 47 years ago with the initiative of some social workers who had a vision and a desire to advance the women of the greater Mymensingh region by providing them education. The region includes Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Tangail, Sherpur, Nstrokona and Kishoreganj districts.
Before the establishment of Muminunnisa Mohila College, there was only one female college called Kumudini Mohila College established by the renowned social worker Mr.R.P. Saha at Tangail, the then Sub-divisional town of this region. It was, therefore, very natural to start a college for female education in Mymensingh town which was the largest district of the country at that time. The then Deputy Commissioner of Mymensingh AKM Musa, District Engineer MA Ali, eminent educationist and social worker Late Principal Reazuddin Ahmed and Late MR Khan, a renowned Jute trader, among others, played the pioneer role in establishing the college. The college started its journey on July 21, 1959 on 6.44 acres of land. AR Khan donated TK.50,000 for establishing the college and the college was named after his mother as Muminunnisa Mohila College.
Muslema Khatun, former principal of the college who had joined the college at its birth in 1959 and continued her service here for 33 years mentioned in one of her writings that the college started with only 45 students as the guardians at that time were too conservative to educate their female wards. She wrote, “We had to make door to door campaign to hunt students and in the first year we collected students only after we ensured the guardians that the students would be escorted by maids on their way to college and return home.”
In 1961, science courses were introduced and later Degree courses were also started in 1963 following support from the guardians. The college was nationalized in 1980.
The college at present has about 3200 students in the HSC (Science and Arts), B.A. (Honours) and Masters levels. The college runs honours courses in Bengali, English, Political Science, Mathematics, Social Welfare and Economics while it offers Masters courses in all the above five subjects excluding English. The Graduate and the Masters courses were introduced in 1998-1999 and 2001-2002 sessions respectively.
The college has hostel facilities for about 200 students which is insufficient to meet the demands of the students' needs. The student dormitory was started in 1987 with 60 students and late Prof. Nadira Sultana of Mathematics Department was its first superintendent who served as its superintendent for 14 years.
The college has gained the reputation to be one of the best colleges in the country for its brilliant results of H.S.C levels. A total of 37 students including two from Arts Group obtained GPA-5 in 2005 and 78 students got GPA-5 this year.
However, the college is yet to introduce Commerce Group which is in the process of being finalised from the next session, hoped Monowara Khatun, the Principal of the college who started her teaching career as a lecturer of this college. “I desire more and more success and all-out development of this college as I also hail from Tangail, one of the districts of Mymensingh region.”
As the number of students is increasing every year, so necessary facilities should be provided to deliver proper education which will surely add many feathers to the fame of the college in future, said Anjuman Ara Begum, Vice-Principal of the college.
Together with solving the ever increasing accommodation problems in students' hostels, the need for expanding the size and number of classrooms needs immediate attention for smooth holding of classes. After the introduction of the B.A. Honours and Master's courses, the rush of students has increased many folds creating some obvious problems, college sources said.
The college also needs an auditorium to hold different programmes round the year since the co-curricular activities of the students constitute one of the things that they feel proud of. Side by side with ensuring rigorous studies, hard discipline and learning good manners, the teachers of Muminunnisa College put a lot of emphasis on students' creativity and extra-curricular activities.
Some students while talking to the writer also mentioned that shortage of teachers in some departments, especially in the English Department, has been a problem for the students. They felt that since the college authority introduced honors and masters courses eight years ago it should have increased the number of qualified teachers to teach the courses of these levels.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006