Jayanta Kol Soren is a member of an ethnic minority community. He is a second year Honours student of the management department at Shah Neyamatullah College in Chapainawabganj. His dream is to be a teacher and help educate the children of his community.
He wants to help the children turn to studies instead of spending all their time tending to cows and goats. He also wants to involve the children in preserving their heritage. It was the school, Babu Dying Adivasi Alor Pathshala, run by Prothom Alo Trust, that sparked off this dream.
He was a student of the first batch of Babu Dying Adivasi Alor Pathshala. He is the only one of the batch that is now studying in college, after passing the SSC exam. He is also the most educated among the Kol community in the Babu Dying village.
The Babu Dying Adivasi Alor Pathshala was established in 2007 deep in the Barendrabhumi of Mohonpur union in Godagari upazila, Rajshahi. Back then it was called Babu Dying Adivasi Primary School and taught children from pre-primary up till Class V.
In 2010, Prothom Alo Trust took over the responsibility of running the school. In 2016 the school added classes from Class-VI up till Class-X. So now the school teaches students from pre-primary till Class-X and is called Babu Dying Alor Pathshala.
Ever since the school was established, it has been educating and enlightening the children of the area and the nearby villages. The teachers since then have been overcoming all obstacles and calamities to come and teach at the school.
The school now has 317 students, including the children of Kol ethnic community and of families who have taken shelter by the Babu Dying forest after losing their homes to erosion by the river Padma. The 10 teachers of the school strive tirelessly to teach the students of 11 classes, from pre-primary to Class-X, in peaceful and pleasant surroundings.
* The report, originally published in the print edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir