Playground is their classroom now | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:50 AM, November 29, 2019

Playground is their classroom now

Their madrasa building in Baufal upazila collapsed when Cyclone Bulbul wreaked havoc on coastal districts earlier this month

After Cyclone Bulbul razed the madrasa’s only structure, made of tin and wood, to the ground on November 10 in Baufal upazila, the madrasa authorities had no other option but to carry on academic activities out in the open. 

The authorities of Purbo Khajurbaria Dakhil Madrasa, established in 1986, made the decision to prepare students of the institution for the upcoming final examinations of grades one to four, six, seven and nine.

Students of grades five and eight already took part in the annual public examinations earlier at different exam centres while students of grade ten had their test exams in October. 

According to Patuakhali District Education Officer Jahangir Hossain, tropical storm Bulbul severely damaged 61 educational institutions in the district. Out of those, 41 are madrasas, 18 are high schools and 2 are colleges.

Since no government initiatives were taken till date to rebuild the structure of the madrasa in Baufal, its authorities are also making preparations to hold the final exams at the same place, in the playground next to the 105-foot-long damaged building.

Attendance rate of students are falling due to the situation, but no department of the government responded their plea of reconstructing the madrasa building, said Md Rafiqul Islam Hawlader, chairman of the madrasa’s managing committee.

Prayers for reconstruction were sent to a number of offices. Those include the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO), upazila parishad, upazila project implementation office, upazila secondary education office and department of education engineering, Rafiqul added.

During a visit to the madrasa prior to the class finals, this correspondent saw students in small groups from different grades, sitting on separate rows of benches under trees next to the damaged facility, taking lessons from teachers.  

Maulana Abdul Matin, superintendent of the madrasa, having current enrolment of 360 students, said the finals were set to start on November 27, but they could not find any substitute facility for the students.

Urging the authorities concerned to come up with a solution for the sake of the students, he said they were making preparations to hold the exams in the playground.   

Contacted, Baufal upazila Project Implementation Officer Rajib Biswas said they received a petition from the madrasa authorities, seeking repair or reconstruction of their facility that was badly damaged by Cyclone Bulbul.

The petition has been forwarded to the higher authorities concerned and his office would take necessary steps in this regard as soon as his office receives directives from them, he also said.  

 

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