A 55-year-old man from Gazipur shocked everyone when he announced he would sit for the Dhaka University admission test this year.
Balayet Sheikh, a resident of Gazipur's Mawna, has been passionate about higher education since early in life.
In 1983, he prepared to sit for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination but was not even able to register for the exam.
Before the exam, his father's health condition deteriorated and he had to make a difficult choice with the family struggling to get by. He opted out of the exam and spent the registration fee for his father's treatment.
In 1988, Belayet made a second attempt to sit for the SSC examination but failed again due to floods in his locality.
He tried again two years later and failed a third time. This time, his mother fell ill and he had to take care of her.
In the meantime, Balayet got married and became a father of three children – two sons and a daughter.
At this point of the story, it might seem Belayet's dream of passing the SSC examination had fizzled out. Most people would have given up by now, but not Belayet. He stayed firm in his conviction.
Balayet's efforts did not go in vain. He passed the SSC examination in 2019, and the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination in 2021.
Now, the 55-year-old is gearing up for the Dhaka University admission test for "Gha Unit" (combined unit) scheduled to be held on 11 June.
Talking to The Business Standard, Balayet said, "I always dreamt that my son or daughter will study in Dhaka University. But I was disappointed. My son and daughter are studying at a government honours college.
"But I have decided to sit for the Dhaka University admission test. I got admitted to a coaching centre to prepare for that."
Hirok Raj, a Saifur's coaching centre teacher in Mawna, wrote on his Facebook page, "In my first class, I saw Balayet sitting among other students and I assumed that a guardian came to observe the class. Later, I found out he himself was a student. He was very attentive and took lecture notes.
"When I asked him why he was trying for university admission at the age of 55, he told me about his dream…I believe this man can achieve anything he sets his mind to."