There are two junior high schools with the same name in Domar upazila, although rules do not allow schools to have the same name in any upazila.
The schools, named Motukpur Saptarshi Biddyapith, are located opposite each other beside the Domar-Dimla road in Motukpur village under the upazila.
On a visit to the schools recently, this correspondent found that they are only 10 metres apart, with one on the eastern side of the road and the other on the western side. Both schools have sufficient number of students, teachers and infrastructure.
Students of the east side school wear green uniform while the west side students have pale blue uniform.
“My father, ex-college teacher Rashidul Islam, founded the school on his own land in 2015. He made me the headmaster with approval of the seven-member school managing committee (SMC),” said east side school Headmaster Md Sajjadul Islam, 35.
“After my father expired in 2016, the SMC president, in collaboration with a majority of the members, built a tin-shed schoolhouse with the same name only 10 metres across the road. They appointed my assistant Abhoy Chandra Roy as headmaster, replacing me,” he added.
He said there are 267 students in his school, from Class I to Class VIII, and it has earned a good reputation for quality education, adding that forty students are likely to appear in the next JSC examination.
West side school Headmaster Abhoy Chandra Roy, 62, refuted Sajjadul's claim, saying that Sajjadul was in South Korea at the time of launching of the first school in 2015 and the SMC appointed him (Abhoy) as headmaster from the beginning, considering his long experience in teaching.
“After the death of the school's founder Rashidul, his son Sajjadul returned from abroad and took over as headmaster, although he has no experience. He tried to dominate us as the school was situated on their land,” Abhoy said.
Finding no other way, the majority of SMC members decided to build a tin-shed at a nearby location and continue running the school. There are 260 students and 65 will appear in this year's JSC examination, he added.
During his visit, this correspondent found that the upazila education office provided textbooks to both the schools.
“I've visited both the schools and directed the relevant authorities to settle the dispute, otherwise they will lose the permission to run the schools. My office gave textbooks to the schools considering the future of the students,” said Upazila Education Officer Shakerina Begum.
Motukpur Union Parishd Chairman Abdul Mazid said local lawmaker Aftabuddin Sarker tried to settle the dispute but failed.
Both parties are preparing to go to court for getting permission to use the name Motukpur Saptarshi Biddyapith, he added.