Islamic Voice
Jamadi-Ul-Awwal 1422H
August 2001
Volume 15-08 No:176

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MUSLIM EDUCATION


Sawab Public School: Building Values
Shattering Myths


Sawab Public School

Building Values

A teacher couple is building a school in Pune that would foster values and integrate students with nature.

Sawab School Campus

General View of the Sawab School Campus

By A Staff Writer

Rome is known as the ‘City of Seven Hills’ and it was not built in a day. The teacher couple, Jaweed and Nusrat dreamt of a school on seven hills. They set about the task in a methodical manner. They sold some of the family silver and collected funds, chose a plot in the sylvan surroundings of Pune fanned by ozone laden winds, spent hours with landscape artists, gardeners and architects, and inducted skills ranging from Vaastu to ancient mud architecture. Years after they envisioned the ideal school, the dream is nearing materialization.

Though a bit late, the couple’s Sawab Public School will begin admissions for this academic session. Nestling over and amidst seven hills, nay hillocks, the school of their dreams has already raised hopes. Hopes about a distinct institution that would care for values and will be committed to turning out men with character, vision and courage. Jaweed bunches them together in ‘Fortitude’ for the school’s motto.

Jaweed Sarfraz ShaikhSprawling over 14 acres of rolling meadows, 30 kms south of Pune, on the Pune-Solapur Highway, Sawab Public School is outcome of the couple’s long experience and abiding interest in teaching in several public schools. Not alone this. Shaikh Jaweed Sarfraz lays claim to academics also by dint of his authentic pedigree in terms of family’s scholarly traditions. His grandfather Shaikh Abdul Khadir Sarfraz taught at Bombay and Pune Universities and was conferred a sanad by the British viceroy. His father Dr. Shaikh Abdul Haqq Sarfraz was a protégé of George Bernard Shaw and was a barrister from Middle Temple Inn and taught at the Pune’s famous Wadia College. Jaweed himself was a principal at the Pune’s Bishop School and later headed the Anjuman Islam’s Residential School at hill station Panchgani in Maharashtra. Having completed MA from Madras Christian College in Tambaram, Jaweed is currently a member of the Indian Council of Secondary Education(ICSE). Nusrath has also put in years of teaching in reputed public schools of Pune.

Sawab School Academic Block

Academic Block of Sawab School

Sawab’s forte lies in imbuing the campus and the curriculum with ancient wisdom and values and latest scientific techniques. Conducting this correspondent around the aesthetically laid out campus in Naigaum, Sarfraz unfolds his vision. The red bricks for the simple though elegant buildings were prepared specially and were laid into the wall vertically and joined in a Flemish bond fashion in order to insulate the interior from the outside heat. The campus located on undulating terrain is divided into four distinct zones, i.e., administrative, academic, recreational and residential. A walk to the classes from school mess is just enough to digest the food. In fact graveled pathways from all four wings of the campus merge at a central nullah spanned by a snug bridge. Classrooms have six sides and allow enough fresh air, sunlight and greenery around for the tired eyes to rest upon. Building is quake resistant and Mangalore tiles cover the roof. He plans regular interaction between students and the residents of the nearby villages so that the kids grow up with a realization of village problems and stay tuned to the nature’s orchestra from bird’s chirping, gurgle of water streams or winds whistling through bushes. He says much of these ideas came to him only after he was told of the school kids in Mumbai who believed that milk came in sachets from booths and any mention of it coming from cows would evoke a retort like ‘Don’t be funny, animals cannot give milk’.

Sarfraz is eying students from good families who could be groomed into fine officers, administrators and managers through competitive exams. He expects a lot of students from the Gulf and other overseas areas.

For more details contact: Sawab Public School, Naigaum-412110, Haveli Taluka, Pune District, Phone: 020-6913164, Sarfraz Education Trust office: 020-4263380. E-Mail: principal@sawab.org website: www.sawab.org

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Shattering Myths

Nosheen Iqbal, this year’s B.Sc topper in Mumbai University has shattered both gender and community myths.

M H Lakdawala

Muslim women are breaking the shackles of the stereotype image, which projected them as uneducated, docile, and backward. This year’s B.Sc topper in the Mumbai University has done away with these stereotypes.

Nosheen Iqbal, the 20-year-old Memon girl has shattered gender and community myths both. Memon community is synonymous with business. But Nosheen is a precursor of the trend in the community, as more and more Memon youth are taking to education seriously.

Nosheen Iqbal, a student of Jai Hind College, topped this year’s B.Sc examinations scoring 90.75 per cent marks. She plans to pursue either a MBA in finance or MCA. Although Nosheen was confident about topping her college, but coming first in the University was a surprise even to her. Nosheen chose mathematics over traditionally popular subjects like microbiology because it would help to improve her visual reasoning and logic, skills crucial to clear the entrance examinations for MBA.

She says the result is a pleasant surprise for the Memon community. “It is very rare for girls to achieve this kind of academic distinction in our community. In fact very few girls from the community attend college. And when they do, the period is spent just as a transit before marriage,” says Nosheen.

She says that she solely depended on notes taken painstakingly at college and spent between 10 to 12 hours a day studying. Her father is a well-to-do businessman and mothers a housewife. “My mother has only completed her schooling. But my parents were always sure that I would complete my graduation, come what may,” says Nosheen.

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