News Desk : dhakamirror.com
Sajida Begum, a 77-year-old woman, serves as an inspiration to many as she undertakes a journey to continue her education at this age.
After dedicating many years to marriage and taking care of her children, she now passionately seeks to reignite her academic pursuits.
At the impressive age of 77, Sajida embarked on a new educational endeavor by taking the admission test for the SSC program offered by Bangladesh Open University (BOU), according to a press statement issued on Sunday (6 August).
Yesterday, BOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Humayun Akhter visited an admission test centre in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi. Describing Sajida as “indomitable”, he said: “Sajida Begum is an inspiration. An indomitable woman! Her life is like the story of her mother who doesn’t give up.”
He added that people who do not have JSC certificates have been given a chance to get admission to the SSC examination through a test at BOU.
“The path of education has been opened for 3,500 underprivileged and interested students like Sajida Begum across the country. As a result, Sajida Begum, who has crossed the boundaries of depression and discipline, has an opportunity to learn more about her education, personal life, and dreams,” he added.
Sajida has three children, who are highly educated and are now established in their respective positions.
However, her blurring vision, physical illness, or the burden of age could not stop her from following her dreams.
During a conversation, Sajida Begum told the vice chancellor of BOU that she was born before the partition in 1947. She was a student of Nawab Habibullah Model School and College. Later, she got married to Abul Hashem, a young officer at the Dhaka Cantonment Board.
After Sajida Begum came out of the examination centre, she said she was introduced to BOU through her son, Masud Reza.
Reza had once come across a news article showcasing the educational success of a tea seller who studied at BOU and advised that she participate in the exams, knowing how interested she was.
“Since that day, I come to BOU with my daughter. At first, I was shy, but soon enough I noticed there are people of all ages and professions studying here, and that made me feel confident,” Sajida Begum said.
She added that her son and grandson showed her how to use the internet, and how she can take classes online. “The whole process became so easy for me that I was no longer afraid. BOU’s system is very easy and beautiful. VC sir has encouraged me as well.”
Regarding her plans for the future, Sajida said she wants to study as much as she can. “If Allah wills, I want to complete my SSC and HSC from BOU.” She added that she wants to work with companies involved with Nakshi Kantha or hand-embroidered quilts in the future.
Sajida’s eldest daughter Hasina Akhtar came with her to the examination centre. She said: “My mother is very popular with low-income people in my area. Many people keep their money with Amma (mother) as a deposit.”
She added that Sajida stitches beautiful Nakshi Kantha. “Once upon a time, we took the initiative to sew Nakshi Kantha commercially. My mother’s beautiful craftsmanship amazes us.”
BOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Humayun Akhtar said: “There are many talented women in this country. But due to social, and family pressure, and marriage, they were forced to quit their education. BOU’s curriculum is always on their side. We have given people of all ages and professions the opportunity to study from home across the country.”Even Bangali expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Dubai, and Italy are now studying in various programs offered by BOU,” added the VC.