Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rabi-Ul Akhir / Jamadiul Awwal 1423 H
July 2002
Volume 15-07 No:187

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Muslim Perspectives


Click, Click, Get Connected
Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away!
Schools of Thought


Click, Click, Get Connected

Muslim parents are apprehensive about the negative impact of the use of computer, on children. So it is a better mindset to regard computer use as simply one more experience that can support the development of learning skills

 

By A Staff Writer

The IT revolution has more or less forced all educational institutions to include computer education on their syllabi. Muslim parents are in a dilemma about imparting computer education to their children. First of all, Muslim parents are apprehensive about the negative impact of the use of computer on children with respect to values and morals which are contrary to the teaching of Islam. No doubt, their apprehension is not without a base, but with proper guidance, the use of computer will work wonders for the growth and confidence of the child.

Thus like television, VCRs, and other forms of electronic systems, the use of computers with young children automatically brings up issues that hold concern for parents. They worry about whether or not these powerful machines will have negative effects, and wonder what our expectations should be for the influence they might have on children’s education and development. So proper monitoring of the child’s use of the computer with parental guidance is necessary. Some of the parents believe that “ computers will make my child smarter”. There is some truth to this idea. There is no doubt that a computer and great software can be a fun and exciting learning tool and can even provide practice of pre-academic and academic skills. Also remember that young children learn best with plenty of well-rounded hands-on experiences. Computers should always be considered a supplement to other, more concrete learning activities like completing puzzles, building with Legos and blocks, reading books, creating art projects and playing on the playground.

“My child will become less social by using the computer”. You have seen the zombie-like posture that children often take when watching television ... hardly a social experience. Educators and parents have similarly been concerned about possible negative effects of the computer on the children’s desire to interact with others. Unlike television, however, the more interactive, child-controlled nature of some computer software can be conducive to sharing, taking turns and playing games together. While the television does not know if the child is in the same room, the computer, in a sense, does, by providing activities that adjust to children’s individual responses and by giving customised feedback. Just like toys, different types of software can influence the way kids play. Some programs, for example, have options for one or two players, increasing the opportunity for making computer use a shared activity. Of course, as with any activity, too much of a good thing is probably not healthy and a child who spends an inordinate amount of time on the computer may need help in setting limits.

Unless they show interest, do not feel obliged to teach your child about the inner workings of a computer or terms like CPU and so on. It is simply not necessary at this young age. More important is that they learn how to use computers ... to point and click, click and drag, use pull down menus and so on. How do they do this? With your guidance, naturally, but best of all through their own exploration and discovery. Making a child computer literate now will prepare them for the future. Familiarity and comfort with computers is certainly useful for daily survival, both in and out of school. But one must be careful about placing too much importance to computers and considering it as a “must” for the children’s future welfare. It is a better mindset to regard computer use as simply one more experience that can support the development of learning skills such as being able to read and write, think logically and analyse problems. It can also enhance the learning process by allowing kids to have experiences not possible without a computer.

Computers, software, CDs and Smart Toys should always be considered a supplement to other, more concrete learning activities like completing puzzles, building with Legos and blocks, reading books, creating art projects and playing on the playground gs

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Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away!

Ebrahim Currim and Sons, the 142 year-old Company has succeeded in making umbrella as a fashion accessory- Their range of scented umbrellas to twinkling umbrellas get sold even before the rains begin

Mohammed Hanif Lakdawala

Ebrahim Currim and Sons, is the Company that has converted, selling and manufacturing umbrellas into an art. They not only have survived competition, but are giving sleepless nights to competitors. This 142-year-old company has made innovation its by-word. There are umbrellas that twinkle at night, scented umbrellas, animal prints, for women, there is Lacy Lady and for yuppies there is Goldrella, a golden yellow umbrella whose rod is polished with 18-carat gold. There are hexagonal and square ones too. And if you are superstitious, ask for the umbrella with Chinese good - luck symbols. The Currim brothers - Aziz (42) and Abbas (35) - the company’s directors, say an umbrella is now more of a fashion accessory. “So to keep customers happy, we have to experiment,” says Aziz. “Most of the new umbrellas will be sold out before the rains begin in full swing. We like to cater to an entire range of clientele - from the simple man at Crawford market to a high profile customer at Pyramid Stores.”

So which are the most popular ones? While the scented ones were a huge hit a couple of years ago, this year animal prints are the pick of the lot. The twinkling lights and Lacy Lady are also sought after. After completing the degree course in commerce and law, Aziz managed the shop for six years. He then went to Australia to do his Masters in Business Administration. He returned to India in 1990 to take up designing umbrellas once again. Aziz says he is only carrying on the tradition of his elders. The Currim brothers start designing new umbrellas for the year in February and ideas keep pouring in till April or May. Some of their other innovations include an umbrella with newspaper print, a pearl finish and a rangoli-patterned one. The umbrellas with gold and silver-coated fabric are available for between Rs 150 and Rs 300. Ebrahim Currim and Sons is one more Muslim managed company which makes the community proud.

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Schools of Thought

Authorities in schools in Ahmedabad have reported a massive exodus of
Muslim children from schools in Hindu-dominated localities

By A. H. Lakhani

Ahmedabad: The alienation of Ram and Rahim in the classrooms of Ahmedabad is complete. With the academic session to resume soon, schools where children from the Hindu and Muslim communities used to sit next to each other and learn the virtues of communal brotherhood, now are painfully segregated. Parents are adamant about not sending their children to schools in areas dominated by the other community. They had voiced their concern in hushed tones just after the carnage in Gujarat, but academicians hoped that the feeling of mistrust would pass off with time. Unfortunately, that has not happened. “My son Adil used to study in Ankur School in Paldi. But we have shifted him to Model English School,” stated Sattar Memon, father of a 4th Standard student who lives at Juhapura, a ghetto with a 2.5 lakh population, all Muslims. Authorities at prominent schools reported a significant exodus in Hindu-dominated areas.

“Around 10 Muslim students took the transfer certificate from the school this year. This has never happened before,” says D. M. Patel, Principal of Diwan Ballubhai school, Paldi. One of the most sought-after schools, St Xavier’s Loyola at Memnagar too has lost few students.One school’s loss is another’s gain. Schools in Juhapura have received a big chunk of students pulled out from schools in Hindu areas. Surprised by the unexpected response, many old schools have gone into immediate expansion and new schools are also being planned to provide quality education to Muslims closer to their homes.

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