Urdu medium students from Shaheen School in Bidar are consistently grabbing positions in CET
For those who consider Urdu medium schools to be laggards, better take a pause at Bidar. The Shaheen School in this remote Karnataka town has been creating a stir for over a decade. Nearly half of the PUC pass students from the School have been grabbing seats either in medical or engineering colleges through CET. Look at the tally this year: 173 appeared for the PUC science stream, 84 per cent passed, 70 per cent secured first class, 60 declared eligible for BE and 12 for medical schools.
It all may sound serendipitous. Most of us who have given up hope for the Urdu medium schools may even let a wondrous gasp. All is still not passé with Urdu medium schools. It still offers hope.
But let not our fancy with Urdu sway our faculties. It has been a hard climb for the management which has been struggling to disprove the myth that Urdu is an inherently weak medium.
Shaheen School was started on December 1, 1991 with 16 students. It was to be an unaided, Urdu medium school with a syllabus that blends religious instructions with secular curriculum. Today it has 3,000 students, 150 teachers and a campus spread over 50,000 sq. feet in Ahmedbagh of Golekhana area in the town, yet totally inadequate for the needs of the students. It even runs a purely vegetarian canteen within the premises.
According to the School secretary Abdul Qadeer, the school focuses on serious academics rather than on English coaching. Of course, English is part of the curriculum from first standard, but medium of instruction is Urdu and stays so till 10th standard. Soon after SSLC examination, the students undergo a 40-day bridge course in English wherein the entire high school core subject syllabus is revised in English to familiarize the students with English terminology. This paves the ground for a smooth transition from Urdu to English.
The school has been producing 100 per cent success at the SSLC exams for the last five years. This year 174 appeared for the SSLC. Of these 70 per cent passed in first class. Only eight students were placed in pass class.
Surprisingly, the school makes it mandatory for the students not to attend any maktab (religious school) separately. There are arrangements for in-house religious instructions. In fact, several bright students are provided necessary facilities to undertake hifz (memorization of the Qur’an) from 3rd standard onwards.
Qadeer informs that the management focuses on teachers’ training, encouragement of children, remedial classes for the weak students and frequent interactions between parent and teachers.
Consistent good performance has encouraged the local non-Muslim students also to join the school in larger numbers who now nearly make up half of the strength at the PUC level. In recognition of the school’s performance, the local Lingayath community organization has conferred Shikshana Kamudi Award and Rajya Gurukul Award on the school management. The Karnataka Urdu Academy too has conferred honours.
Qadeer says the management has purchased a plot of land outside the town for building a new campus as the paucity of space is placing constrains on growth. For details contact: Abdul Qadeer, Shaheen School, Ahmedbagh, Golekhana, Bidar, Karnataka, Phone: 0-93411-11560.