Volume 15-07 No:175
Haji Gulam Mohd Azam Education Trust and Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society(MCES), Pune, which together manage several institutes from pre-primary to post graduation to professional levels, have taken education at the grassroots level in Pune and surrounding areas. Their unique style of identifying talent and coaching has begun to bear fruits. From the academic year 1999-2000 the two trusts jointly started M. A. Rangoonwala Talent Search and Promotion Scheme. In the recently declared HSC results, 29 students scored 85 per cent and above marks in the PCB. Also out of 40 students, 15 students got above 100 marks out of 200 in the CET examinations.
Mrs Abida P. Inamdar one of the trustees of MCES while explaining the need for talent scheme said, “It was felt for a long time that the meritorious girls and boys of the Muslim community do not receive expert coaching, though they have potential to excel. Keeping this in view the scholarbatch at the Azam campus was started from April 15, 1999,” she said. The students enrolled in scholar batch are coached for the 11th and 12th standard Science Board examination. They are also prepared for the various competitive examinations.
During two years coaching the students of scholar batch are taught science subjects right from fundamentals to the stage from where they can confidently face any competitive examinations. Mrs Inamdar says, “The teaching of 12th standard science commences from middle of April and is concluded by the end of November. “From December onwards these students are imparted coaching in 12th standard papers which is completed by the end of April, after which these students start revision, solving question papers and model papers till next March i.e. for one full year.”
In Maharashtra 1,200 students from Urdu medium school appearing for SSC under 8th Board scored above 80 per cent last year. “These names disappear in the HSC examination,” says Munawar Peerbhoy, Chairman Haji Gulam Mohammed Azam Education Trust. “Even merit holders from Urdu medium at SSC level find it difficult to score high marks in 12th exams as medium of education shifts from Urdu to English,” he said. “Keeping this in mind we decided for a comprehensive coaching for these students,” points out Dr. Ejazuddin M. Khan, course coordinator for Rangoonwala Talent Search Scheme said that as compared to other pattern of coaching our focus is on over all development of the student. “Our intention is not to make them bookworm as that would lead to lopsided development of their personality,” he remarked. “No doubt we make them work hard, providing right guidance and motivation. While working to achieve high percentage of marks and get place in merit list, overall development of the students is also our objective.”
From the initial stage students are imparted training in Time Management. Since for two years students are staying in the campus itself, the time table drafted is to be followed in toto.
Mrs. Inamdar points out that students are trained in public speaking; taken to picnics, excursions, science and technology exhibitions, study tours etc to expose them to the competitive world. “They are also imparted training in computer literacy. Greater emphasis is laid on building a strong moral character”, she said.
Another unique feature of the talent scheme is the ‘remedial English course,’ which is part of the syllabus. During the first year of the training all students have to attend one-hour lecture daily to improve English language. “We teach them basic grammar, essay writing, techniques of writing passages, letter writing and composition and English speaking”, said Dr. Khan.
“By the time second year coaching starts all our students are well versed in English language, which boosts their confidence level,” added Dr. Khan. “Besides every month we invite experts from various fields such as environmentalist, scientists etc who deliver lectures on the subject followed by a question answer session.”
While selecting students both boys and girls preference is given to Urdu and Marathi medium students. Minimum 80 per cent marks at the SSC level is strictly followed. Dr. Khan said, our team which includes P. A. Inamdar, president MCES, regularly tour interior and moffussils towns to search the talent and invite them to enroll for the scheme free of cost .We take care of their lodging and board and other expenses.”
The first batch i.e. 1999-2001 has 40 students whereas the second batch 2000-2002 has increased to 161 students. Mrs. Inamdar said that we have maintained the same student- teacher ratio by increasing the divisions so that quality of coaching is not compromised.
Sadequa Ansari of Anglo Urdu Girls High School, Pune topped the merit list of Pune divisional board’s SSC examination this year with 94.53 per cent marks. Sameena Shaikh (with 94 per cent) and Naznen Sayyed (93.86 per cent) of the same school were placed second and third in the examinations. Even last year a girl from this school had topped. Altogether eight students from Azam campus, i.e., six students from Anglo Urdu Girls and two students from Anglo Urdu Boys High School appeared in the merit list. Total 14 Muslims appeared in merit list in the Pune division.
Performing equally well 15 Muslims from Malegoan appeared in the merit list in the Nasik divisional SSC examinations. It’s all time record. Sana Mohammed Farook topped the Nasik Board with 93.33 per cent.
Another Muslim girl Shaikh Shamama Farheen topped the Aurangabad Board with 93.33 per cent marks. As is quite apparent Muslim girls have outshined Muslim boys in all the board’s exams.
The reasons for the consistent good performance of Pune Muslims in 10th and 12th Board exams year after years are:
1-Cohesion in the Muslim community: Unlike Mumbai, which is the socially heterogeneous, Pune Muslims are the local inhabitants who have built up social, and economic cohesiveness amongst them. This has led to the educational awareness at all levels of the Muslim society, with emphasis at the grassroots level.
2- Cultural assimilation: Although in Pune slew of communities exist but there is no cultural isolation amongst them. They all identify with the local culture. The result is that Muslims of Pune do not suffer from the inferiority complex and psychological barrier while facing the competition from the other communities.
3-Grassroots level focus: In Pune, the Muslims have focused on the quality primary and secondary education. The emphasis is given to impart the best education from the primary level itself.
4-Early Dawn of Consciousness: Pune as always has been the hotbed of the various reform movements. Ideological headquarters of several social and cultural reform movements had always been in Pune. Various reformers such as Jyotiba Rao Phule were based in Pune. It has created tremendous awareness regarding the importance of education amongst the Muslims too.
5- Early acceptance of secular education: While in rest of the country Muslim were under Muslim rule, British controlled Pune. Hence secular educational institutions started in Pune quite early. Muslims there accepted the secular education early unlike other regions where lot of resistance was there against the secular education.
Case of Malegaon: The case of Malegoan is entirely different. Muslims of Malegaon have always been very dynamic. Whether in entrepreneurial skills and business, politics, culture and arts or ideological movements, Malegaon has always excelled. Malegaon looms are very famous, secular, and Islamic education institutions both are quite renowned there and also institutions such as Jamia Mohammadia, Jametul Salat, Jamia Islahul Banat, etc which impart both secular as well as religious education are doing quite well.
In the field of arts and culture Muslims of Malegoan has a counterpart to Bollywood, i.e., Maliwood, where local Muslims produce 16mm feature films and documentaries, which focuses on their own culture.
Mumbai has lagged behind. Although a network of Muslim managed educational institutions exists in the metropolis, the emphasis is on professional and higher education.
Primary and secondary education is often neglected. The result is that in most of the Muslim managed Institutions, since Muslims students are not available with the requisite percentage of marks, students from other communities fill the seats.
Unlike past when one has to search Muslims names in the merit list, the performance of Muslims in Maharashtra is not only improving but is also giving tough times to students from other communities.
With Malika Mistry in Pune
New Delhi: The Parliamentary Forum for Education and Culture was launched here in the presence of MPs from various political parties, including a constituent of the ruling NDA, to fight the Vajpayee government’s agenda of saffronising education and culture.
From August 9 onwards, the Forum will campaign across the country and inform the people about the saffronisation drive and seek popular support in reversing the trend, Eduardo Faleiro, MP the convener of the Forum told a press conference. The forum expressed grave concern at the manner in which the Vajpayee government is bringing about fundamental changes in practically all fields of education without the sanction of Parliament and bypassing the mechanism which has existed for the last 50 years for evolving a national consensus on education. The Forum charged the government of violating the major thrusts of the National Policy on Education and ignoring the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) and Parliament. It said the National Curriculum Framework for Schools prepared by the NCERT and accepted by the Union Government has no legitimacy and sanction.
MPs criticized Union HRD Minister Murali Manohar Joshi for his blatant attempt to saffronise the curriculum. Recalling a reply in Rajya Sabha on Vidya Bharti Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan’s publications, they said, the government has admitted that the National Steering Committee on Textbook Evaluation found Vidya Bharati’s publications highly objectionable and recommended the ban on these publications. It stated that “much of this material is designed to promote bigotry and religious fanaticism in the name of inculcating knowledge in the young generation”.
Mr. Faleiro, Congress(I) MP and former minister, said the membership of the Forum is open to MPs from all parties. Veteran journalist and MP Kuldip Nayyar noted that concern was found even in the ranks of the ruling party where a large section is concerned over extremist activities of a fringe. Besides Faleiro, the convenor of the forum, other members are Prakash Y. Ambedkar (RPI); Shabana Azmi; Mrs. Chandresh Kumari; Dr. M. N. Das; Dhammaviryo (RJD); Kartar Singh Duggal (Cong-I); Kuldip Nayyar; K.A. Sengtam; Shyama Singh; cinestar and MP Raj Babbar(SP); Manik Lahiri; Prof. Bharati Roy; C. Apok Jamir; Abani Roy; Rana Shankar Kaushik; M. J. Varkey; Mattathil and National Conference MP Shariefuddin Shariq and several others.