The Sunbeams Legacy
The year was 1973. A country just liberated, people picking up the pieces full of hope for the future. Like everyone else, a young teacher with two toddlers of her own looked forward to building a bright future. And where else could she start but with the most basic building block? Education.
Encouraged by her husband and supported by friends, she decided to start a school that would offer a solid foundation in academics and the highest dictates of conscience. Janata Bank gave her a loan of Taka Ten Thousand which she invested in ten desks and benches and painted them red: the colour of prosperity. On 15th of January, 1974, at eight a.m., she wrote “SUNBEAMS” on a blackboard and rang the bell outside her small home at 2 Indira Road.
Thus began the Life Story of Ms Niloufer Manzur and the Legacy of Sunbeams.
Every morning, after her husband left for work, Ms Manzur and her colleagues: Ms Farida Taher and Ms Mustari Khan would push aside the living room furniture and set up classes. They taught fifteen children, ranging from four to eight years of age in two rooms. End of the classes, they would reset the rooms back for their original purposes.
It has been a long way since then.
In 1994, twenty years after its inception as an elementary school, Sunbeams opened a Senior Section with General Mannaf as the first Chairperson. The GCE Ordinary Level Courses were subsequently introduced in 1996 and our first batch completed their O’Levels in May 1998.
Sunbeams moved to its own campus in 2007, encompassing over two acres. In 2008 we were proud to see our students complete their A’Levels for the first time.
Today, there are 1113 students in Sunbeams, ably mentored by 161 teachers and 81 support staff members.
Over the years, there have been notable changes in location, numbers, logistical details. But the sense of purpose that made a young teacher start her own school has remained etched in every brick of the school, just as clearly as the first day she wrote “SUNBEAMS” on the blackboard…to inculcate in every student a sense of pride as a Bangladeshi. To raise awareness of the richness in our heritage and make them feel self-responsible in leading this country to a better future.
This purpose remains unchanged.