The memory of Abinta Kabir, the 19-year-old woman whose life was brutally cut short during the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, Dhaka a year ago, lives on through the work of the foundation in her name in Natore.
The Abinta Kabir Foundation has recently set up five elementary schools in the district's Singra upazila, earning a lot of appreciation from the local community.
The school has been established in the Ninguin Uttarpara, Ninguin Ghunpara, Patkol, Haripur and Bamilal areas of Singra. Launched in February this year, each school is providing elementary-level education to 30 students below the age of six.
These unique, one-room schools have simple arrangement, with a blackboard and mats for students to sit on during the lessons. The walls are decorated with the children's artworks and speak a lot of the joy of learning they experience.
Palli Kalyan Shikkha Society (PKSS), an NGO, has taken the responsibility of running the schools' operations on behalf of the Abinta Kabir Foundation.
Besides carrying out all the expenses for the school's management, the foundation also provides all classroom materials, i.e. exercise books, pencils and pens.
The usual school hours are 9am-11am, but students are not allowed to leave the classroom unless the day's work is completed, said Rubia Khatun, a teacher of Abanti Kabir Foundation School in Ninguin Uttarpara.
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The Abinta Kabir Foundation elementary schools are one-room, tin-roof and tin-wall schools that have simple arrangements, but provides a joyful learning experience to their students Dhaka Tribune
“Like every other elementary school, the children get regular lessons on Bangla, English, maths, drawing and general knowledge here. But our top priority is to ensure that learning is a joyful experience for them,” she added.
The school in Ninguin Uttarpara, a simple one-room structure with tin roof and tin walls, was established on a small piece of land leased out by Rubia's eldest son Raju.
Before joining this new initiative, she worked at a Brac pre-primary school for long.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Mahi, a student of the school, said she enjoyed the time in the classroom a lot.
“I feel sad on the days I don't go to school,” she said.
Mahi's mother Mamata said her daughter was very attentive in her studies at school, and the parents feel that the teachers take great care in teaching the students.
She further said the parents would appreciate it if the school upgraded to primary level and provided education up to Class V.
Asked about Mamata's suggestion, PKSS Executive Director Daisy Ahmed said she had already conveyed the message to the foundation.