A transformative visit that warmed my heart

July 23, 2019 at 6:49 pm 1 comment

When Shaheer Ahmed, the founder of TechTree – an alumni of The Nest I/O – asked me if I would inaugurate a STEM Lab that his startup had set up at a school in Surjani Town, I asked “Where is Surjani Town?” That is how oblivious we are to different parts of the large city of Karachi. We live in bubbles and are often unaware of what goes on elsewhere.

I have had a crazy schedule of late and was quite hesitant to take on anything more. Everyone I know keeps telling me to rest, to take it easy – and yet they present me with opportunities that I cannot turn down.

When Shaheer told me about the Khadija Kazi Ali Memorial High School and the work that its founder Sanaullah Kazi and its Principal Nasira Abid were doing in Surjani Town which is otherwise a poverty stricken, deprived and underdeveloped area in this city, I just couldn’t refuse to go to the school, check it out and offer my support.

Even though Shaheer had spoken of the school in such glowing terms, I don’t know what it was that I was actually expecting . What I saw took my breath away.

The school, its founder, its faculty and the children humbled and inspired me. As I heard Kazi Sahab and Nasira Sahiba talk about their vision and mission to provide “a quality education in an environment where every individual is cared for spiritually, morally, intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally, so that they can make their best contribution to society,” I realized how committed these people were to the children under their care.

The environment they have created is surprising to see. The confidence in the children. The joy that is apparent. The building, the rooms, the decor (which the children have played a part in creating), the curriculum (which is based on the Aga Khan Board, the teachers, the facilities, the attention to detail – it is all truly worth appreciating.

If you have been to Surjani Town, you will know that electricity is an issue. This school is operated through solar panels. It has medium high ceilings with fans that result in a cool environment. There is the beginnings of a nice library.

The STEM Lab that Tech Tree has helped to set up (with the assistance of generous donors) is better equipped than many private schools. It has 15 computers, robotic kits, IOT kits, Raspberry Pi kits, drones, etc. The Tech Tree team is training the teachers but will continue to provide direct training to the students until the teachers are comfortable doing it themselves.

The school provides free education from Grade 1 to Grade 7 with money raised through patrons and sponsors. They intend to expand the school to Grade 12 in the near future.

When you see a welfare school run so efficiently and one that includes the best that any private school can offer, it gives you hope. Parents say that children want to come to school because of the environment, the activities and the caring faculty. And when you look into the faces of these children, you can see the passion and excitement for learning and the sense of belonging that they feel.

As I heard Shaheer speak to the kids about what he owed to Kazi Sahab, Nasira Sahiba and the other teachers, I smiled because it reminded me of how my friends and I felt about our teachers. Sometimes I think that not enough respect is given to people in the teaching profession especially those who have greatly impacted our lives. It is therefore wonderful to see people like Shaheer and his team acknowledging the impact their teachers have had on their lives – and giving back by helping to set up the STEM Lab and contribute in other ways to the development of the school and the children. Well done Shaheer. I am so proud of you.

Entry filed under: Posts.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. ahkath  |  November 27, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    This is amazing !


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