Headmaster of a primary school in Nilphamari’s Jaldhaka upazila has allegedly taken away textbooks from a fifth grader as she failed to pay the school’s annual picnic fee.
Kajoli Rani Roy (11) is a student of class 5 at Gabrol Government Primary School. Her father Krishna Chandra Roy, who is a day labourer, claimed that he was shamed by the headmaster for failing to pay the picnic fee.
Headmaster Abdur Razzaque had asked students to bring Tk 250 for the annual picnic due on January 29.
“I managed Tk 200 for my daughter two days ago [January 27] hoping that the headmaster would consider my situation,” Krishna told The Daily Star.
“When I gave Tk 200 to the class teacher, he received the money and asked me to bring the rest or meet the headmaster,” said Kajoli. “When I told the headmaster about my inability, he scolded me and insisted I pay the rest that day,” said the child.
Later that day, Kajoli and her father went to the school. “The headmaster said that my daughter did not follow the rules of the school and therefore had no right to keep the textbooks. He asked me to enroll her in some other school,” said Krishna.
“I lodged a written complain to the upazila nirbahi officer right away. The next day, my daughter got enrolled in a school run by Brac,” Krishna went on.
When contacted, Jaldhaka UNO Md Sujauddoula said, “I have received the complaint. The issue is sensitive and I have directed the upazila primary education officer to investigate and file a report as soon as possible.”
“I have visited Gabrol Government Primary School and convinced Kajoli’s father to take her back there. She is now attending classes regularly,” said UPEO Nur Mohammad.
“I have also asked the headmaster to postpone the picnic and let Kajoli attend without any fee as I have found the allegations to be true. I will file the report to the UNO within a day or two,” he added.
Abdur Razzaque said, “I just tried to make sure that the girl follows the rules of the school. They misunderstood me.”