Interviews

‘I am glad Apeejay takes initiatives that foster the love of the nation among gen-next’

Mumbai-based civil engineer Ashraf Imam on why teachers at Apeejay School, Nerul, Navi Mumbai have encouraged students to pursue their passions with essay competitions and talent search initiatives

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Ashraf Imam is a civil engineer and an entrepreneur engaged in the construction business based in Nerul, Mumbai. His daughter Aarifa Imam and son Mohammed Athar Imam have been studying at Apeejay School, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, ever since they embarked on their educational journeys. In an interview, Mr Imam says he appreciates the values of nationalism that the school inculcates in future citizens of the country. Read on.   

How did you choose to enrol both your children at Apeejay Nerul?

To begin with, we stay in Nerul itself. When we spoke to people in our friends circle, they recommended Apeejay School, Nerul, Navi Mumbai highly for academics as well as co-curricular activities without any hesitation. It is one of the most established schools in our locality. The feedback about the teachers was also excellent in the sense that they go the extra yard when it comes to paying individual attention to the children. All these factors helped us make up our mind about enrolling our children here.

Please tell us a little more about your children.

My son Mohammed Athar Imam is studying in the Sciences stream in class 12 and is interested in appearing for the NEET exam next year. He was an average student till class 6. But in the last few years he put in additional effort, with the guidance of the teachers, particularly in classes 10, 11 and 12. Just yesterday he got selected in the national level Annual Talent Search Examination for students conducted for students from classes 9 to 12 by the Apeejay Education Society.

My daughter Aarifa studies in class 7. Her performance in class has been excellent. She also participates in every extra-curricular activity. For instance, she recently participated in the essay writing competition on patriotism in the younger generation and her essay was appreciated by the class teacher Kiran Ma’am. I am glad Apeejay takes such initiatives that foster the love of the nation among Generation Next. She has performed regularly in the annual function of the school in the pre-Covid days. She was also appointed as House Captain in the school.

How do you perceive the role of teachers in guiding students?

The response of the teachers has always been very positive. Mostly my wife interacts with them. Whenever she or my children reach out to them with any query, they guide them really well and are always patient with them: irrespective of the query or the time of the day. I am fortunate that my children perceive their teachers as their friends and guides.

How was the experience of online classes during the lockdown?

Initially, we thought the children will find it difficult to cope with staying confined within the home owing to lockdown and the pandemic. But the manner in which Apeejay began online classes immediately was commendable. Not just were the classes held regularly, the extra effort put in by the teachers was palpable to both students and their parents. Also, they kept the children engaged through interesting activities. 

Share with us what you like the most about the school?
I remember the time my heart swelled with pride when Aarifa went up on the stage and spoke with so much confidence. When we were students, our generation was not as confident about speaking on a public platform. I am glad that children learn to express themselves with confidence and overcome their stage fright early in their lives. This can lay the foundation of a bright future for our next generation.

Aasheesh Sharma is a seasoned journalist with an experience of more than 25 years spread over newspapers, news agencies, magazines and television. He has worked in leadership positions in media groups such as Hindustan Times, India Today, Times of India, NDTV, UNI and IANS. He is a published author and his essay on the longest train journey in India was included in an anthology of writings on the railways, brought out by Rupa Publications. As the Editor of Apeejay Newsroom, he is responsible for coverage of the latest news and developments in the Apeejay institutions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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