Focus on academic excellence, Indian envoy tells students and their mentors

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Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — India’s envoy to Saudi Arabia has emphasized that the main focus of students and their mentors should be on achieving academic excellence and holistic development.

Delivering the keynote address at the Annual Awards Day of International Indian School-Jeddah (IISJ) on Friday evening, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, ambassador of India and patron of International Indian Schools, urged students as well as their parents and teachers to draw lesson from the best experiments pursued globally to achieve holistic development, citing the soup kitchen example from US.

“In the United States, most of the students do not stay idle even in their holidays but instead are engaged to do something that enhances their general awareness and personality development in a holistic way. While pursuing studies in 8th grade in US, my younger son was asked to work in a soup kitchen where the poorest of the poor are fed by the State and students are encouraged to go there and feed those people with their own hands,” he said while emphasizing that this enables kids to nurture feelings of compassion and empathy after having firsthand knowledge about stark realities of life around them.

“This way, they know what the world is all about and see face to face various challenges instead of confining to their houses and enjoying comforts in the presence of their parents.”

Sayeed, who had served as India’s consul general in Chicago for four years, also cited the golden opportunity for even the undergraduate students to have a direct exposure to sophisticated researches in premier US universities. “During my stint in Chicago, I have had visited several prestigious universities where I could see most sophisticated and prestigious researches are being carried out by the students. Even first year undergraduate students were encouraged to experiment them and the school students are being taken around and given opportunity to explore them,” he said while underlining the need to have such exposure for Indian students, saying “for this, cooperation of parents is absolutely essential.”

The impressive ceremony was held at the Boys’ Section auditorium in the presence of Consul General of India and Vice Patron of International Indian Schools Mohammed Noor Rahman Sheikh, Farha Sayeed, Dr. Nazneen Rahman Sheikh, HOC and School Observer Sahil Sharma, Higher Board Member Abdul Ghafoor Danish, Chairman of the Management Committee Mohammad Ghazanfar Alam, MC members, prominent figures from the Indian community, IISJ staff, parents and students.

The dignitaries congratulated the IISJ toppers and winners, as well as their teachers and parents for their immense contributions to achieve outstanding performance in Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examinations in classes 12 and 10. Sayeed, the chief guest, started his highly inspiring speech with eliciting his nostalgic belongingness to IISJ while going down memory lane to his participation in the parents and teachers meetings as parent of the ward and in various events and programs at the school during his stints as Haj consul and consul general of India.

“When I entered the campus, I have the very nostalgic feelings due to my great attachment with IISJ, the oldest International Indian school in the Kingdom, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary this year. “First of all, my attachment was as a parent as one of my sons had studied here, and then my long association in various capacities. In my previous postings as consul general during 2004-08 and before that as a Haj consul, I had witnessed annual days, graduation days, mushairas (poetic evenings) and several other events,” he said.

In a message to the new managing committee, chairman and principal of the school as well as to the community, Sayeed said their prime focus should be the overall interests of the school and community apart from any personal ones. “We see MC as a group of responsible individuals who have an extreme will to do good for the school, together with the officials of the embassy, the consulate and higher board with the same objective of providing the best educational standard and environment for students without bringing in any politics, region, religion or anything else,” he said while emphasizing that the role of principal is to focus on academics as well as to shoulder the responsibilities as a custodian and watchdog of the interests of the school rather than loyalty to any individuals.

Urging the community members to allow those entrusted with duties to discharge them by giving them some space to work, Sayeed welcomed them to come forward with constructive suggestions for the benefit of the school.

In his speech, Consul General Sheikh, the guest of honor, thanked Ambassador Sayeed for appointing him as the vice patron of International Indian schools in the Kingdom. Addressing all the stakeholders of the school, he called upon them to make “IISJ a brand,” with a focus on overall development of the personality of students in order to make them capable of meeting the challenges. “It is high time to go beyond the traditional stream of careers such as that of doctors and engineers to the unexplored streams as well. Children need to be encouraged and motivated to explore new avenues and this should be after developing in them basic qualities such as integrity, discipline, character and the mindset to help each other so as to become a good human being.”

In his felicitation speech, MC Chairman Alam congratulated the students for their outstanding performance and thanked the teachers for their commendable achievements.

Earlier, IISJ Principal Dr. Muzaffar Hassan welcomed the gathering and presented the school’s annual report. Highlighting the remarkable achievements of the school in curricular and co-curricular realms, he ensured further academic and intellectual development of the students in future.

Earlier, the function commenced with recitation of a few verses from the Holy Qur’an. Ambassador Sayeed and other dignitaries presented awards and certificates to first three school toppers of CBSE Class 12 and Class 10 examinations. The school topper in class 12 Joshua George was bestowed with the award with a huge round of applause. Those who were honored also included stream-wise toppers of Class 12 and subject toppers of Class 10 and 12; boy and girl students who topped from classes 6 to 9, as well as Gulf Sahodaya exam toppers. Teachers who have completed 25 years of service were also honored on the occasion.

The efforts and contribution of Students Cabinet of 2018-19 and the CBSE National Football team of IISJ were appreciated by presenting mementoes. The scouts and guides captains of IISJ, which comprised of Vice Principal of Boys Section, Girls’ Section Vice Principal Farahdunnisa, HMs and teachers were also felicitated. Vice Principal of Boys Section Dr. Najeeb Qais Ammar proposed the vote of thanks.


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