They said the trio’s biographies should be included in the national education curriculum
Bangladesh has lost its guardians after the deaths of three eminent educationists Prof Dr Anisuzzaman, Prof Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury and Sunbeams School founder Niloufer Manzur, said prominent citizens at a virtual memorial on Monday.
They said the trio were extraordinary human beings who were assets of the nation and inspirations for so many people.
The country should include the trio's biographies in the national education curriculum, speakers said.
The memorial was organised by Citizen's Platform for SDGs. Prof Anisuzzaman and Prof Jamilur were members of the advisory group of the platform and Niloufer Manzur was the well-wisher. Prof Jamilur died in April, and the two others in May.
Remembering them, Prof Rehman Sobhan, eminent economist and chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said, "Anisuzzaman, Jamilur Reza Chowdhury and Niloufer Manzur were three extraordinary and decent human beings who had great professional achievements. The remarkable factor about them is that they were common frontline inspirations for so many people."
"Anisuzzaman himself was an institution. He was a great teacher, scholar and educationist. He was recognised as a public intellectual and was involved in nation-building projects. He was a universal teacher and universal inspiration," he added.
Speaking about Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, the CPD chairman said, "He was a person with great creativity and was internationally recognised. He contributed much to huge infrastructural development projects of the country with his high integrity."
Prof Rehman Sobhan said Niloufer Manzur was his student.
"Niloufer started a small tutorial centre from the living room. Over the years, she had built an international standard school known as Sunbeam School. It was a challenging task considering the circumstances of a city like Dhaka."
Remembering Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud, advisor to the former caretaker government, said, "He was a man who built Bangladesh with passion. He was the chair of most of the mega projects of the country."
Commemorating Niloufer Manzur, Rasheda K Chowdhury, executive director of the Campaign for Popular Education, said, "She was not only an educationist, but also a great education entrepreneur. She tried to maintain quality education without a commercial mindset. And obviously, she built generation after generation."
Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury, advisor to the former caretaker government, said, "Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury was not only an educationist, but also a good manager. I was introduced to his managerial capacity at Brac University."
Eminent artist Mustafa Monwar said, "Prof Anisuzzaman was my childhood friend. He was a son of soil with a secular and liberal mind. His body was mixed with the soil after his death but soil cannot vanish his great works."
Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of the Citizens for Good Governance (Shujan), said, "Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury was a great educationist who had contributions in building Brac University and the University of Asia Pacific. He was very close to his students."
As the moderator of the memorial, eminent economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, said, "The country lost its guardians with the deaths of these three great souls. They will remain alive through their deeds."
Aroma Dutta, a member of parliament, said, "As they were great personalities, their biographies should be include in our academic curriculum."
Entrepreneur Asif Ibrahim said, "We lost our guardians with the deaths of these three great personalities."
Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said, "The values they gave their students are their legacy."
Among others, parliamentarian Selima Ahmad, Dr Hamida Hossain, human rights activist, diplomat CM Shafi Sami, Abul Khair Litu, businessman and entrepreneur, Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples' Forum, Nasim Manzur, son of Niloufer Manzur, Ananda Zaman, son of Prof Anisuzzaman, Khaleda Mariam, teacher of Sunbeams School, and Fatema Yusuf of Citizen's Platform for SDGs spoke at the event.