‘Shikshak Parv’ at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)



Aligarh : Series of events such as felicitation of faculty members, lectures, webinars, workshops, panel discussions, book reading sessions and screening of educational films on the contribution of teachers continue to mark the ‘Shikshak Parv’ (Teachers’ Day), birth anniversary of former President of India, Dr S Radhakrishnan at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

At the Centre of Advanced Studies (CAS), Department of History; Prof Gulfishan Khan (Chairperson) delivered a talk on ‘Shaikh Muhammad Abdullah: Our Educationist’ on September 8—discussing how Shaikh Abdullah brought about an era with his passion for transforming women’s education, and looked at it as an agency for social change and development.

She covered various aspects of Shaikh Abdullah’s life and highlighted his contribution as an educationist, social reformer and the founder of the Women’s College at AMU.

“Shaikh Abdullah’s ideas can be gleaned through his writings published in ‘Risala Khatun’ which he founded in 1904 as an organ of Women’s Education section of the All India Muslim Educational Conference”, said Prof Gulfishan.

She added: “Shaikh Abdullah belonged to what the historian David Lelyveld called ‘Aligarh’s First Generation’. As a pioneer of women education, he co-founded the ‘Anjuman Khwatin-i-Islam’, an all India organisation devoted to the cause of women”.

“Shaikh Abdullah’s life and activities as a social reformer symbolised the emergence of English educated Indians who were face-to-face with the ideological and institutional challenges of colonialism”, emphasised Prof Gulfishan.

She stressed: “Shaikh Abdullah’s concern with women rights centered on the provisions of formal education but his discourses also encompassed other aspects including the legal rights of Muslim women.

“He articulated views on ideal Islamic womanhood through innumerable essays and articles”, said Prof Gulfishan.

She called the movement of Shaikh Abdullah as inspirational as only a few people including Hali, Shibli and others have written on this issue before him.

“Shaikh Abdullah was also acquainted with novelist and administrator Maulavi Nazir Ahmad and historian and biographer, Zakaullah and was influenced by Syed Mumtaz Ali and his monograph on the rights of women, ‘Huquq-un Niswan’. He enjoyed the privilege of close interaction with many of the great luminaries of Aligarh Movement”, emphasised Prof Gulfishan adding that Shaikh Abdullah was also associated with the Sahabzada Aftab Ahmad Khan whom he considered ‘a true promoter of female education’.

Prof Mirza Asmer Beg (Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences) presided over the lecture.

Dr Md Nazrul Bari (Coordinator, Event Committee) extended the vote of thanks.

Aneesa Iqbal Sabir conducted the programme.

The celebration also included screening of the educational movie, ‘The Ron Clark Story’ about a young, idealistic teacher who raises the low-achieving students’ test scores above grade level at a school where remedial students were driving away teachers with their rudeness and bullying.

“Undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students watched the movie with the faculty members”, said the Programme Conveners, Dr Mohammad Nafeesh and Yogesh Kumar Yadav.

Teachers’ Day observations at the Department of Linguistics on September 9 began with screening of the motion picture, ‘Super 30’ based on the real life story of a math genius, Anand Kumar, who changed lives of meritorious but destitute students by making them qualify the IIT-JEE entrance exams in his free-of-cost coaching centre.

Prof S Imtiaz Hasnain (Dean, Faculty of Arts) deliberated the contribution of teachers to nurturing young minds and Nation-building in an interactive session with students.

He spoke on academic endeavours and experiences and shared important life lessons about working diligently, accepting challenges and overcoming hurdles.

In the book reading session, research scholars Inzamamul Sarkar and Uzma Afreen leafed through the pages of ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear and George Orwell’s ‘1984’ respectively to discuss important lessons from these books.

“No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offer a proven framework for improving every day. In this book, James Clear, an expert on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that can teach us exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results”, said Inzamamul.

Expressing her opinion on ‘1984’, Uzma Afreen stressed that the book has enough strength to make one realise that the existence of power play and human exploitation in the real world is in no way different from what is shown in George Orwell’s timeless classic.

Later Prof M J Warsi (Chairman, Department of Linguistics) felicitated senior faculty members Prof Imtiaz Hasnain, Prof Shabana Hameed and Masood Ali Beg for their selfless contributions and inspiring seminal work.

Research scholars Soumya Abidi, Uzma Afreen, Inzamamul Sarkar, Sana Haider, Habibur Rahman and Zainab conducted the programme.

Students of the Ahmadi School for the Visually Challenged participated in student competitions held at the school to celebrate the Teacher’s Day.

Dr Naila Rashid (School Principal) spoke about the immense role of teachers in shaping the lives of students.

“Teachers are builders of a better tomorrow. They shape the youths today and help them achieve something great in life. Their influence remains constant and significant in the lives of students’, she said.



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