An era of excellence in 100 years of Matlab High School
I pondered about the parallel between the struggle of building St. George on an arid land and that of building MJBHS in a village, stricken with poverty and paucity of resources. Feeling energized by the analogy and the dedication of the STGM to MJBHS and five of its luminaries, I summoned all the residual energy and ignored all the muscular pains in finishing the formidable STGM, about forty minutes faster than my most recent Vancouver Marathon on 1 May, 2016.
Tributes to Founders of MJBHS
Walking back to the car in a St. George parking lot, I studied the STGM medal around my neck. Made of light pink stone, the first line on it read: '40 YEARS RUNNING.'I thought of the two founders, J and B, of MJBHS, one from Saha Para and the other from Ghosh Para of Matlab. Their school educated so many, regardless of their politics and religions, over the past 100 years. J and B did not get any medal of honour for that. They did not have to. The school's physical presence, its name bearing their names, and its thousands of alumni are their gold medal. That medal proudly reads: '100 YEARS RUNNING.'
J and B deserve another recognition for the concomitant impact MJBHS has had on the peaceful co-existence in the community. Violence or communal riot instigated by rogue politicians or religious zealots did not occur in Matlab since I can remember. Visiting Matlab in 2015 amid politically-instigated petrol bomb attacks on the innocents in the country, I asked a rickshaw puller about the situation there. 'Those things do not happen here, sir,' said he proudly. MJBHS, its headmasters ---especially, its 1947 partition-time headmaster, the great Waliullah Patwari ---teachers, students, alumni, and support staff had played a big part in that, I opined. 'How could there be any communal tension between Hindus and Muslims, when the most impactful philanthropic act in the history of Matlab was by J and B, two Hindus, for the benefits of all, but mostly of Muslims, for many generations?' I continued. And in recognition of the humanitarian impact of MJBHS on the community, a posthumous peace medal for J and B reads: '100 YEARS PROMOTING PEACE.'
Matlab Model of Success, built on nine pillars, produced outstanding results in a resource-restricted village in the nineteen-fifties and the sixties. It should work even better in modern-day Matlab and elsewhere. All teachers and educators in all educational institutions, at any level and anywhere, may study and learn from the exciting educational experiment that MJBHS was in that era of excellence.r
Tapan Chakrabarty --- an MJBHS alumnus (1965), a BUET chemical engineer with a PhD from University of Waterloo, a seven-continent marathon finisher, an inventor and an innovator, and a columnist --- writes from Calgary, Canada