A community's commendable effort
Not very often are we accustomed to seeing a news item as inspiring as the one about a school for children with special needs in Jessore published by this newspaper on April 24. A bunch of wilful and dedicated people of the district's Abhaynagar Upazila built the school on their own. The school—a tin-shed building comprising four classrooms—currently caters to as many as 101 students, many of whom discontinued or were rejected from normal schools.
The school is recognised by its students of being so important and interesting that some of them travel up to eight kilometres just to attend classes. Both guardians and teachers reported improvements in students' learning capacity. They no longer feel dejected in the school, unlike normal schools, in which few mates would be willing to interact with them.
The idea that the interest of children with special needs can be served best if they are schooled in specialised institutions is barely reflected in our policymaking circles. This school's story should serve as an example of the crucial role such institutions can play in improving the future of one of the most marginalised sections of our society.
These children, too, have a right to have a proper education that meets their needs—something that normal teachers aren't trained to do. The school's teachers also reported that they could have better taught these kids if they had been trained. They have requested the authorities concerned to arrange such training but with no results.
These people did all they could to address the needs of these vulnerable children. But the authorities are not only failing to encourage them but could also very well end up demotivating them. We would urge the authorities concerned to facilitate what these people need to run the school even better. Only then will other people be inspired to do something helpful for society.