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Amazing success for controversial school

In the hallway between classes - Carolyn Drake | Panos Pictures

I’m very excited because the results of the 8th class final board exams have come out and our school has achieved outstanding results. Out of all the schools in our area, we are the only one in which each and every 8th class student [age 12 to 14] has passed the board exam. No one else got 100 per cent passing grades! We had 19 students appear in the exams from our school and seven of our students were in the first division. These are very good results and we are all being congratulated – by the parents, the other teachers and the other students. Everyone, including me, is so grateful and happy!

Our school’s reputation in the area has really gone up and it is having a big impact on the admissions. Any fears that the local community had about our school being a private co-educational institution are now gone and this week they are lining up to have their children admitted to the higher classes. For me personally, it has been a very fulfilling experience since I taught general science to the 8th class and these are all my students. I really tried my best to encourage them and would tell them that yes it is tough but you must study the entire course so that you are well prepared for the final exams.

This year we have been having close interaction with our students’ parents and they have really started trusting us more. In our area, by the time students reach 8th class the boys tend to start losing interest in their studies (the girls are always more focused). The boys get distracted by other activities and tend to stop studying. So for them to get such good results at this age is a big achievement for us. We are now being recognised for providing the right environment for children to study in and remain focused.

These results have led people to place renewed hope in our institution – the local community is really happy that such an institution exists in their area that can provide their children with a good education. Unfortunately, the government schools in our area have not had such good results and the people are not happy with their way of teaching. These days we are taking in new admissions and already more than 40 new students have signed up. I spend all day talking to the new parents and selling them books for the various courses.

All this has been very heartening for me, especially since I am going through a difficult time at home. My mother has been hospitalised due to high sugar levels and high blood pressure. She had become very weak and the local doctors could not treat her properly so we had her admitted to a good hospital in Taxila town, which is around an hours’ drive away. After school I go there to the hospital to be with her. The doctors will not discharge her until she becomes stable. It is a sad situation at home and for me to get such good news at this time was a kind of relief. I live at home with my mother and two sisters. My eldest sister is also a teacher at my school so we are both supporting our family.

As told to

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Maimoona Shahzadi






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