It was a challenge with itself. The journey was not easy at all. After completing her graduation from Pharmacy Department at Jahangirnagar University (JU), Munia Islam Mozumder's family and peers expected her as a corporate pharmacist. Her elder sister, who lives in US, wanted her to go to abroad for higher education in renowned universities. But when she declared, going to teach in a government primary school for two years at the very beginning of my professional life it seems like a thunderbolt for Munia's family and her surroundings. She faced extreme peer pressure. But she was determined to carry out a smart and professional career where there is opportunity to work with the general people and serve the nation whole heartedly. She, however, accepted the fellowship of 'Teach For Bangladesh' and started to work at Haji Yusuf Ali Government Primary School. Then her father took the first step to stay by her side.
Munia Islam Mozumder, the creative and thoughtful young founder of 'Protyoyee Classroom', which is a unique learning initiative to ensure learning to the ignored and deprived children, launched the programme on June last year.
When she started her fellowship in a low income background community, prepared to embrace many of challenges people facing in their communities. Every day is a new day with a lot of challenges. Drug dealing, prostitution, theft and many other crimes were taken place every now and then in our communities. Munia became frustrated when she couldn't change anything. She couldn't ensure regular attendance of the kids in the classroom.
Surprisingly what she discovered in the sparkling eyes of my kids is possibility of great thing!!! She knows, some of her kids' fathers are rickshaw pullers and mothers are house helpers. Kids of her classroom become hungry. They come to school without having full or any meals yet. But they laugh and play with her. Their thirst for knowledge to learn new things gave hope. She started believing, every child is born with thousands of possibilities. A teacher can ensure proper blossom. When see, a seemingly under-performing kid is the first one to respond to some tough questions it seems very rewarding for me. She found the best way to engage the kids' parents is home visit. The more she visited her students' communities, the more she came to know their day to day lives. From one of her kids home visit, she saw that all the members of her family (including father, mother, sister, brother, grandmother) share the same bed which is the size of a ping pong table. In the summer, her grandmother often arranges for bedding below the bed. But it becomes tough in the monsoon when the water seeps through. It gave her a deep realization that many people around her, are experiencing so many different kinds of hardship. However, she gets hope and inspiration when she finds them struggling with smiling faces every day.
Munia said, "My journey was hard. I want to see my kids as global citizens. That's why I introduced Protyoyee Classroom for them to provide the best learning opportunities so that dreams cannot be burden for them.
This classroom is a dream house for some kids who dare to dream. This classroom is a "House of Excellence"- they do believe. They are the kids who embrace thousands of challenges every day to push their boundaries. But they want to explore their thoughts in their classroom with smile and enthusiasm. I believe from the core of my heart - "KIDS DESERVE THE BEST".
The writer is student at Jahangirnagar University