Like any other examinee of the higher secondary examination this year, Ahmed Jawad Chowdhury of Chattogram English School and College is looking forward to the results to be published after a couple of days. But unlike others of his batch, he has no reason to be particularly worried about the highest grade, GPA-5. Even in the secondary school certificate examinations, he did not have the top grade in all subjects. Like him, his parents are also not unduly concerned about his admission to a prestigious university in the country. He may not even try his luck by appearing in any admission test at all. Because he wouldn't require to go through this extra ordeal.
How? Is it because he has sacks of money to spare for admission to a foreign university? He may not require much money either but can logically expect to receive invitation from the best in the United States or the United Kingdom for enrolment. Why? Jawad has done what no Bangladesh student ever could. He has earned a gold medal at the 59th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) for the country. His is certainly a milestone achievement and with this success, the boy has held the country's flag flying high. No other South Asian student could earn a gold medal this year, although India as a team earned more points than Bangladesh did and was placed ahead of its small neighbour.
Bangladesh has been sending teams to the IMO for some years now. Before Jawad, the best achievement was silver medal. In fact, he earned one such medal in the 2017 competition and a bronze in 2016. But this time, he clinches the most coveted award and carves his name on the trophy of the elite panel. A number of IMO medal winners from Bangladesh before him have been studying in the top universities like the Harvard, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), of the USA. But they won the silver medal at the best. This boy has the distinction of winning the gold medal and naturally he is likely to enjoy preference from the Ivy League in that country. Other countries such as the UK also may show interest in him.
What is particularly savouring is that Jawad's parents did not impose their choice on him. They did not pressurise him to obtain golden GPA-5. They have allowed him the liberty to pursue his own interests. The boy has thus developed a reading habit beside his unwavering love for mathematics. That he lives and breathes mathematics is quite evident but then he also shares his interest with others. It is an unfailing routine for him to train students of mathematics of different age groups at Chittagong Math Club.
Jawad has taken his dream to the farthest point but by doing so, he has made Bangladesh proud. Young men and women like him represent the country in way no other can. His is an especial talent because mathematics is the mother of all sciences. Here is a boy whose success will inspire others to achieve similar glory not just in the IMO but also in other forms of Olympiad. Already Jawad has become a brand ambassador for Bangladesh; further successes achieved by him in the future will take the branding horizon even further. For talents of his distinguished class do the country's branding better than any other.
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