A Plan to Save Kashmiri Students’ Academic Year
By Saghir Aslam

 

Pictures above: Scenes of devastation and hope

Saba Trust team has been concerned about the last year studies of high school students in the earthquake area. The Trust formed a committee a month ago to come up with a plan so that the students did not miss a whole year of school.
It was a huge task that came with great responsibilities as most of the school buildings have been destroyed and most of the staff has died or is seriously injured: the teachers are not able to teach. The planning team presented multiple plans of which one proposed setting up tent high schools. Providing water, gas and electricity remained a worrisome aspect of this plan.
Even if we could solve the utilities problem our next worry was that since many local teachers were not available would we be able to attract enough qualified teachers to teach the students? Will the teachers be willing to teach in freezing temperature? And even if we were able to find a skeleton teaching staff we would still face another problem: where would the teachers reside and how would they adjust to the freezing temperature. The most important question was how effectively the teachers would be able to teach.
Another important issue was that we had to come up with a plan for the residence of the teachers. Naturally, the same questions came up about electricity and other utilities.
Considering everything a tent high school did not look practical or doable. The Saba Trust committee was asked to do more work and to come up with a different plan.
The committee went to work again and had several meetings.
One day the committee decided to go and visit the facility at our 53000 sq. ft Wisdom House in village Chanan 18 km from the nearest town Kharian with a teaching staff of 143. The committee thought it sounded a good proposal.
Director and founder of Wisdom House Br. Abdo Shakoor informed the committee of our tremendous transportation network that covers 35 plus km and nearly 70 villages. The committee was informed that even if each village took only 5 students there would be 350 lucky students.

We all know the great hospitality of the villagers. The students will not be a burden on them. All the Kashmiri students will be welcomed with open arms. Everyone would want a student as a popular saying in these villages goes “there is always room for one more.” The fact of the matter is that the villagers would be honored to have the students.
Once the committee came back to the Head Office of Saba Trust in Rawalpini this plan was unanimously approved and we immediately gave the working committee another task to work out all the details about classrooms, teachers, hours, transportation, etc.
The committee went back to Chanan and spent some time with the staff and worked out all necessary details. They presented a comprehensive plan that sounded great and doable!
Thus the wonderful Kashmiri students will inshaAllah continue their last year of high school at our Wisdom House in Chanan, a remote village and many will feel proud that they graduated at the end of the school year. .
Dear brothers and sisters, if you would like to participate in this noble cause please do send in your tax deductible donations to International Education and Welfare Society at 10351 Parkview Ave, Westminster, CA 92683. Tax ID # 33-0716944. Even as little as $100.00 will help. Please don’t delay. Do it now! As big businesses and professional people you can afford to be generous and Allah S.T will reward you and give you manifold in return.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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