Schoolhouse devoured in flood, built overnight
Purba Satunama Aminpara Government Primary School, situated at remote Satunama shoal area along the Tessta river in Dimla upazila, had no physical existence since it was washed away in the last year's flood.
Uncertainty gripped to restore the school's normal activities after the government decided to open all the educational institutions across the country from September 12, after 543 days of closure due to Covid-19 pandemic.
But, thanks to the teachers, guardians and local people, who collected donations and voluntarily built a four-roomed makeshift schoolhouse overnight at a new location, in a spur on the right embankment of the Teesta river, on September 11.
The new schoolhouse is about three and half kilometres away from the previous location.
While visiting the newly built school on Tuesday this correspondent saw boundless joy among the kids, mostly from poverty stricken families, as they attended their classes wading through knee-deep water.
Khalilur Rahman, headmaster of the school, said the school, on 46 decimals of land, was nationalized in 2013 and had 250 students and 4 teachers.
"In August last year, when the school was closed due to the first spell of the corona pandemic, swelling Teesta devoured most part of Satunama shoal along with 200 homesteads and the schoolhouse," the headmaster added.
Locals, somehow, managed to save some corrugated iron sheets and bamboo poles of the devoured school, and kept those at Uttar Sonakhuli village, which is three and a half kilometres away from the previous location.
"We looked for land at a new place to rebuild the school, but failed as none agreed to donate their land and there was no government khas land nearby," Khalilur said.
Mohammad Nuruzzaman, a guardian, said they were baffled thinking their children's future after the government announced to open the educational institutions from 12 September.
He said driven by the eagerness to start the kid's schooling, teachers, guardians and locals joined hands on Saturday afternoon, only a few hours before the school opening, and voluntarily set up a makeshift schoolhouse before next dawn.