From dignitaries to middle class men and women, from present and former students to the ones who have known and even heard of Niloufer Manzur, many have come up with rich tributes to the founder Principal of Sunbeams School, who passed away in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Social media platforms are replete with condolences, messages of prayers and encouraging words about education and future that Mrs Niloufer Manzur tried and wanted to spread throughout her life.
Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud, a senior economist and former adviser to the caretaker government, called her a “pioneer of English medium schooling in Bangladesh, a teacher and a mentor of generations of students, who have grown up to make their own marks in various professions at home and abroad”. “Some take up academic profession themselves, including being faculty at Yale, Berkeley,” he mentioned in his reaction to a post after Mrs Manzur’s demise.
“She was not only a pioneer of quality English medium education in Bangladesh also she was wonderfully caring and dedicated teacher and individual,” stated Hossain Zillur Rahman, another caretaker government adviser and Executive Chairman of Power and Participation Research Centre. “Her generations of Sunbeams students are her living legacy.”
Executive Director of Economic Research Group Sajjad Zohir expressed his hope that “Mrs Manzur's students continue to excel not only for their own good, but also to contribute to the land that bred dreamers like her to go beyond self.”
Niloufer Manzur was one of pioneers of English medium schooling in Bangladesh. Starting in living rooms of their home with 15 students and with a capital of Tk 10,000 in 1974, she established Sunbeams School as an excellent institution of 900 boys and girls.
Writer and Dhaka University Law Professor Asif Nazrul recalled his recent memory of her daughter’s interview with Niloufer Manzur at Sunbeams School and also the stories he heard from wife Sheila, narrated by her brother Nuhash, about this mentor at the school. “I could have connected with those stories better than before… Niloufer Manzur, none would ever stop loving and remembering you!” he noted.
London-based Bangladeshi journalist Kamal Ahmed expressed his confidence that her legacy in bringing international standard in education in Bangladesh has been and would be felt for generations. SM Omar Faruk, a civil servant, observed that Mrs Niloufer Manzur’s leadership presented the nation a wonderful institution and she contributed to building enlightened generation since 1973.
The Asian Development Bank’s Gobinda Bar mentioned that she was a true leader as reflected in her ability to create and lead as well as sustain for long a high quality centre of excellence. Mehrin Ahmed Mahbub of the World Bank said that her absence would create a big void in the education sector.
Adcom’s Nazim Farhan Chowdury, a student of Sunbeams, recalled that the principal is “the one who gave me my voice”. He added, “Mrs Niloufer Manzur‘s goal in life was to give us knowledge and the zest for its search. And like the school she named this truth, this warmth engulfed us like Sunbeams.”
Tahseen Rashid paid tribute describing Mrs Manzuras “a woman that truly changed generations and had such a profound impact on the orientation of every person she came across”.
“Teachers live even after their death. They guide students through their memory during the crisis and the knowledge distributed by them (teachers) flow through generations,” Mahbub Mutanabbi penned down after Niloufer Manzur’s demise.
Imtiaz Mahmood wrote on his social media wall, “Teachers not only disseminate textbook knowledge, but also share part of their entities with the students that that part lives forever. Mrs. Manzur, you will also live forever.”
Innumerable people expressed their shock and prayed for her departed soul, after hearing the death news of Niloufer Manzur, wife of Syed Manzur Elahi, a former caretaker government adviser and Chairman of Apex Footwear Ltd.
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