Sabbah Haji: Setting New Education Standards

The winds of change started blowing a decade ago, when Sabbah Haji a young woman, born and brought up in Dubai, opened the family-run Haji Public School in Breswana village, some seven hours’ drive from of Jammu.
At some 8000 feet above sea level, this school on picturesque hills in Chenab valley in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district is setting new standards of education in Jammu and Kashmir.  Apart from securing excellent grades in academics, the students here enjoy watching movies, learn activities like rock-climbing, and speak fluent English from kindergarten,.
The winds of change started blowing a decade ago, when Sabbah Haji a young woman, born and brought up in Dubai, opened the family-run Haji Public School in Breswana village, some seven hours’ drive from of Jammu.
After spending her childhood in UAE, where her parents worked back then, Sabbah had shifted to Bengaluru for further studies. While her parents returned to Doda in 2000, Sabbah, after completing her studies, stayed back in the metropolitan, working with the multi-national companies.
But in 2008, when Sabbah visited Doda to meet her parents, things changed. Incidentally Sabbah’s Singapore-based uncle, Nasir Haji was also in the town then. During a get-together, the family discussed their charity trust providing assistance to the needy. This was when Nasir bounced off the idea to do something big by opening a school and proposed that he would also fund the project. A postgraduate in English, she willingly agreed. Giving up her lucrative career in the MNCs, she started working on the new dream in this remote hamlet.
As the school started, Sabbah was appointed as its Director and her mother its principal. But irrespective of designations, both mother-daughter duo work as teachers as well.
The Haji Public School had started with just one student in the kindergarten, who qualified her class 8th board with over 90% marks. Over the years, the school has more than 350 students.
Interestingly, while the co-educational institution bears a Muslim name, it has a big number of students from other communities as well.  Sabbah takes classes on religious and moral teachings too.
Having been recently awarded by the state government for her contribution in “Social reforms and empowerment”, Sabbah gives credit to her family. “We are in love with this place because even when we were abroad, my father always kept us connected to our roots. He is a very grounded person for that matter.”
She says the Haji family is happy and satisfied to see the kids improve. But then Sabbah takes a deep breath: “A lot more needs to be done!”
(For more details, see the article on Sabbah and her school on http://www.inuth.com)
BLURB; The Haji Public School had started with just one student in the kindergarten, who qualified her class 8th board with over 90% marks. Over the years, the school has more than 350 students.

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