Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

July 2006
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The English-Maths Scoreboard
By M. Hanif Lakdawala

A number of Muslim students who scored above distinction at the 10+ level failed to score even first class at the 12+ level. Reason? Weak in English.

* Abbas Mapari, scored 79% in SSC (10 +), declined to 49 % in HSC (12 +).

* Khan Riyazur Rehman, scored 81 % in (10+), declined to 56 % in HSC (12+)

* Shamim Bano, scored 81 % in (10+), declined to 56 % in HSC (12+)

The academic results are out and the admission process is in full swing. One trend, which is quite discernible every year is that brilliant Muslim students who scored above distinction at the 10+ level failed to score even first class at the 12+ level. The result is that these brilliant students fail to get admission to the professional courses and have to settle for the second or third choice.

No, these are not the isolated cases. Islamic Voice in collaboration with Trend Research and Analysis Centre, (TRAC) conducted a random survey in Mumbai, which revealed alarming statistics.

241 Muslim students, studying in the Muslim managed educational institutions were interviewed who had scored 75% and above at the 10+ level. Only 19 % matched their 10+ performances or scored higher. 23% of these students scored between 60 % to 74%. The remaining 58 % scored less than 60%. What are the reasons for this dramatic fall in the performance of the brilliant students?

One of the major reasons for these dismal results is the wrong priority of the students themselves. Instead of overcoming weakness in English language, majority of the students focus only on the core subjects. 94% of the students interviewed said that they did not put any extra efforts to learn the English language.

An average student can attain proficiency in English language within six months. But lack of parental guidance and below average English language faculty in schools and junior college worsen the situation.

Low motivation and lack of self-confidence is quite common amongst the students who are not good in English language.

English language teachers in the Muslim managed educational institutions need to brush up their knowledge. The management needs to take the issue of training these teachers seriously. Unless and until teachers excel in their subject, how can we expect our students to be inspired by them and achieve proficiency in the language?

Another subject that is neglected is Mathematics. Islamic Voice and TRAC interviewed 56 prospective Maths teachers and gave them the test on the basic concepts of Mathematics. Surprisingly 85% of the respondents scored below average marks. 56 % of the students found their Maths class at school and junior college level below par and confusing. 64% of the students found private coaching classes teachers more sincere and better equipped to help them achieve their academic goals.

The survey revealed that out of the 39 Muslim managed educational institutions surveyed, only 17 % of the management takes the help of professionals and educational experts. Majority of the management consists of volunteers who do not have any experience or exposure in the field of education. The incapability of the management reflects in the quality of the teachers, their training, their motivation level and the support system for the students. It seems that there is no proper co-ordination between management, teaching and non-teaching staff and students. How can an educational institution achieve excellence if it does not interact with the students on a regular basis?

It is very obvious that if the students can score well at the school level and decline at the 12+ level, the blames goes to the institution. Why is the comm-unity neglecting English language coaching? Many of the institutions neglect this problem. The issue has to be tackled at the school level. Parents should pressurise the managements to give proper coaching in English and Maths so that the basic concepts are cleared when students are out of school.

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) revolution has made proficiency of English language very important. Those who want to be a part of the BPO industry or get a posting in the competitive corporate world, cannot afford to neglect English language. Those who want to make a career in Information Technology must take Maths at the 12 + level and achieve proficiency in it.

The community cannot afford to neglect English language and Maths as subjects. We need to put our heart and soul while teaching these two subjects so that the BPO and IT revolution does not bypass the community.

Secunderabad Turns 200 Years Old

Secundera-bad, the twin City of Hyderabad turned 200 years old on June 4, 2006. It was Nizam III, Sikandar Jan who issued an order on June 3, 1806 designating the area north of Hussain Sagar for Secunderabad to set up houses for a 5000 strong army. While Hyderabad which turned 400 years old in 1991 represented Indo-Islamic culture and architecture , Secunderabad was more cosmopolitan. A lot of Anglo Indians and people of various Indian nationalities settled here in later years. It also became part of the Indian Union as State of Nizam capitulated following Army Action on September 13, 1948, two days after Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah passed away at Ziarat in Baluchistan.