daughter of Zeenat Akhter opinion about current allegation of ‘suicide instigation’

টাইমস অনলাইনঃ
Published: 2018-12-09 06:14:54 BdST | Updated: 2020-07-15 05:36:39 BdST

I, Amina Khan Sabah, daughter of Zeenat Akhter, (Asst. Headmistress, Main Morning, Viqarunnisa Noon School and College), would like to bring certain aspects of the current allegation of ‘suicide instigation’ against my mother to light.

On 02.12.18, Aritri Adhikary, was caught by invigilators while cheating in the examination hall with her mobile phone. According to the school rules, the teacher seized her phone, stopped her exam and asked her to bring her guardians the next day. The phone, along with Aritri’s exam script, remained with one of the teachers, Jahanara Shirin Afroz Miss overnight.

On 03.12.18, Jahanara Miss handed the script over to the class teacher Hasnahena Miss, who then showed it to my mother. My mother immediately contacted the principal, Nazneen Ferdous, on the intercom regarding the situation. She asked the principal for a decision, who then ordered my mother to stop Aritri from sitting for the exam. When Aritri came to my mother’s office with her guardian, my mother let them know the principal’s decision in the presence of six teachers including teachers’ representative, Mushtari Sultana Miss. The guardians further requested my mother to let Aritri sit for the exam, but my mother let them know that it was not her decision to make and thereby sent them to the principal’s room (who had the final say), along with the class teacher. The script and the phone remained under Mushtari Sultana Miss’ supervision.

Ever since this happened, my mother has repeatedly stated that she did not belittle or misbehave with Aritri or her guardian in anyway. The only thing she told them was “I have no hand in the situation” before sending them over to the Principal, who made the final decision. What happened, or how the situation escalated after they left my mother’s presence is not known to my mother and is therefore not her fault.

On 04.12.18, DSHE, Dhaka Board and the Ministry of Education held an investigation on the matter. The school authority attempted to save the Principal from any allegations due to personal interests, and therefore used my mother as a scapegoat. The authority asked my mother not to remain present at school while the investigation was being held, and they presented the information in a way that proves the Principal innocent. My mother was called inside later, when there was nothing more to say and no way to defend herself. Furthermore, despite there being allegations for both the Principal and the Assistant Headmistress, only my mother received the “Show Cause” letter. Therefore, the allegation made against my mother regarding her misbehavior is false and extremely insulting.

What happened with Aritri was devastating and no one deserves to go through such pain. As someone who understands the value of mental health and how important it is, I would like nothing more than justice served for Aritri and others like her. However, this, what is happening now, is NOT justice. My mother is being used in a situation that was out of her hands. She has been in the institution for almost 30 years now, and anyone who knows her is aware of her honesty, if not anything else. If Aritri committed such a thing because of the insult of her parents, then what would you now expect me to do when my mother is being much more than just insulted for something she did not do? If this situation takes a toll on my mother’s health, who will take the blame then?

Finally, as an ex-student of Viqarunnisa, I am fully aware that not all teachers, guardians and parental figures are saints. We have been through tons of stress and many times, needed a better support system than what is currently being provided to us. That being said, I would like you to understand that my mother is not at fault in this particular situation.

Please enlighten yourself with every side of the story and whatever is happening behind the media. To my mother’s students, regardless of what certain people are saying about their personal experience, I hope you would know which side to believe.

ভিকারুননেসা স্কুল এন্ড কলেজের প্রভাতী শাখার প্রধান শিক্ষিকা জিনাত আক্তারের মেয়ে আমিনা খান সাবাহ বর্তমানে পড়াশুনা করছেন ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের নৃবিজ্ঞান বিভাগে। উপরের লেখাটি তিনি তার ফেসবুক আইডিতে লিখেছেন।