When most students are preparing for the HSC exam, which is just a couple of months away, a 19-year-old is toiling away on Jahangirnagar University campus to pay off the money he borrowed from a lender for the exam's registration fees.
Rayhan Islam will take part in the HSC exam from humanities group in April from Boda Pilot Model School and College in Panchagarh under Dinajpur Board.
This correspondent met him on the campus last week.
He said he came to the campus last month from Panchagarh with others from his area in search for work. They are also pulling rickshaws on the campus, he said, adding that they helped him rent a rickshaw so that he could start working right away. He is also staying with them in Ambagan area near the campus.
“I borrowed Tk 3,100 from a lender in my area to pay my registration fees for the HSC exam. I have to pay off the loan with interest, which is now Tk 4,900, within three months,” he said.
“I earn around Tk 300 after pulling rickshaw for over eight hours a day. After expenses, I make around Tk 150 per day.”
Rayhan, from Balavir village in Boda upazila, said, “My father is a day labourer. It's hard for my family to support my education expenditure. I have a younger brother and sister. My brother could not continue his education, while my sister is in ninth grade.”
“I have completed my SSC exams in 2016. I got GPA 3.64 (humanities). I did not receive any stipend due to low attendance. I had to work then too.”
“I want to continue my education so that I can change my fortune and eventually support my family,” he said.
But the month-long hard labour also took its toll on Rayhan. While talking to this newspaper over phone yesterday, Rayhan informed that he went back to his home to take some rest.
This correspondent also spoke to Rayhan's mother, Rehana Parveen.
“His father didn't want him to continue his education, rather start working to support the family… but Rayhan always wanted to pursue education. He used to collect old books from other students,” she said.
“My son has been working hard to fulfil his goal … I pray to God that he becomes successful,” said his proud mother.