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Fine educational institutions

Random thoughts

Lately a large number of educational institutions have been established in the private sector, a blessing to the many students who are thus being provided with a good quality education. I was recently invited as chief guest to two such institutions – Aligarh Public School, Manga Mandi, Lahore and Greenwich University, Karachi.

Aligarh Public School is located at Manga Mandi, Multan Road, Lahore. I had been invited by an old friend, G A Sabri, former federal secretary petroleum. I have a special connection with Sabri as he is a close relative of the late Jamiluddin Hassan, a former very able and efficient diplomat. My wife and I were married on March 9, 1964 at the Pakistan Embassy in The Hague, Holland where Mr Hassan was first secretary and the late Qudratullah Shahab, a very literary person, was the ambassador.

Mr Hassan performed our nikkah ceremony while Shahab acted as my witness. After the ceremony, the ambassador hosted a reception for us – a very memorable occasion. J U Hassan was later posted as ambassador to the UAE, a very important post as Shaikh Zayed was a very good friend of Mr Bhutto. When he retired, Shaikh Zayed asked Hassan to stay on as his adviser on foreign affairs.

When Gen. Zia staged a coup, some mischief mongers said that Hassan had been actively involved in anti-Zia activities, which was not true. The government then stopped his pension and refused to renew his passport. After much persuasion, and with the support of the then foreign minister, Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, I managed to convince Gen Zia to have the restrictions removed. Mr Faheem, member finance, a very competent and fine officer from the Ministry of Finance, managed to expedite the matter and have his pension released with arrears.

It took us about an hour to reach Aligarh Public School from Lahore airport. What a sight met our eyes – beautiful buildings and scenic surroundings. Mr Sabri, Squadron Leader (r) Abdul Naeem Khan and other officials gave us a grand welcome. The occasion was the Golden Jubilee (50 years) of the establishment of the school and I received a warm welcome from students and parents alike. The souvenir booklet contained messages from the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif; Federal Minister for Education Muhammad Balighur Rahman; G A Sabri, president Tehzibul Akhlaq Trust, Lahore, which runs the school and Sq-Ldr Abdul Naeem Khan, principal.

The programme was varied and colourful, with the children presenting good evidence of physical fitness and acrobatics. The college is run on cadet-college lines with nice uniforms and well-disciplines students. This school reflects the vision of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who founded the Aligarh Muslim University and prepared a competent team who fought to gain Pakistan for us under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam. Educated people from UP were the most effective and influential supporters of Quaid-e-Azam.

Aligarh Public School has two campuses – Manga Mandi and Gulberg – each having about 1,000 students. They provide education from kindergarten to Class 12. It is co-educational up to Class 5, after which boys and girls have separate classes. The school has hostel facilities from Class 1 on, which is very convenient as cadet colleges accepts students only from Class 1. When I saw this fine school and the facilities offered, it made me wish that I was once again a young boy and could study there. May Allah shower His blessings on Mr Sabri, his colleagues and all his students – Ameen.

The second fine institute I visited was Greenwich University in Karachi where I was invited as chief guest at their convocation. The chancellor, Mrs Seema Moghal, and Mian Muhammad Afzal, chief of Corporate Affairs and Placement, personally came to Islamabad to invite me. How could I refuse? It turned out to be a very pleasant experience. The arrangements were fantastic. Mrs Moghal is a very competent and able chancellor and a very good orator. Her speech was interesting and covered all aspects of the university’s activities.

Greenwich University is located in Phase 6, DHA Karachi, very near the beach. It used to be associated with Greenwich University, London, but it is now an independent, autonomous, chartered university.

Together with my competent friend, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, I was extremely pleased to be able to award honorary doctorates to the following people. 1) My very dear friend, great industrialist, owner of the country’s largest pharmaceutical company, Hilton Pharma and also a great philanthropist, Sardar Yasin Malik, SI HI. 2) Sirajuddin Ahmad, a renowned banker with world-wide experience and now president, Habib Metropolitan Bank. 3) Sultana Siddiqui, CEO of HUM TV, a very hard-working, efficient and knowledgeable media entrepreneur. Degrees were also awarded to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Many alumni of the university who have made a name for themselves in their respective fields, narrated some of their invaluable experiences at Greenwich University.

There are about 1,000 students at the university and it is co-educational. In my address I advised students to work hard, finish their studies on time, make the best possible use of the excellent facilities offered, be thankful to their parents for supporting them and be thankful to their teachers for inculcating a love of learning. They should learn about, and be proud of, their rich cultural heritage and should read three or four pages from the Quran (with translation) every day so as to learn what Islam really means and stands for. Knowing about the fine things in our religion helps attain peace of mind and contentment in life.

Above all, I urged them to learn to apply the knowledge they gain at the university. The main difference between our educational system and that of the developed countries lies in this very important factor – the ability to apply the knowledge gained. Those entrepreneurs who have succeeded in Pakistan have this talent and ability. May Allah shower His blessings on Mrs Seema Moghal, her colleagues and students – Ameen.

Note: I receive many SMS messages and phone calls from numbers I don’t recognise. Since it is not possible for me to answer them all, I respond only to known numbers. If I don’t answer your call, please SMS me first, introducing yourself and indicating the nature of the call. Thank you.

Email: dr.a.quadeer.khan@gmail.com

Dr. A. Q. Khan, "Fine educational institutions," The News. 2016-01-11.
Keywords: Education , Educational institutions , Educational planning , Educational development , Educational policy , Higher education , Community colleges , General Zia , Sahibzada Yaqub Khan , Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad , Mrs. Seema Moghal , Aligarh Public School , Manga Mandi , Greenwich University , Karachi , Lahore