V. M. KHALEELUR RAHMAN
The views expressed in the excellent editorial "Vision of Founders Vs Mission of Successors" (Omeiat Journal May 2009) are based on facts and thought provoking. Thanks and kudos to its writer and Omeiat Journal for it. It was discussed seriously in the circle of our friends. I hope that heads of institutions, members of the Managements and philanthropists would have read it with interest and pondered over the issues discussed therein.
Of course there was time till some years ago when the main aim of the institutions whether primary or higher secondary or college was to educate as many boys and girls as possible by extending all assistance to them. I still remember how the Islamiah College, Vaniyambadi, which is the first college established by the Muslim community in Tamil Nadu helped students in giving scholarships, fee concessions, free education etc. It was even then a very reputed college for arts and science courses as is now and students from different parts of North Arcot district and other places sought admission there. Its alumni are in many thousands who hold or have held high posts in different fields of activity. So was the case with other colleges like the New College, SIET College, Mazharul Uloom College etc.in giving assistance to the students when they were started.
Later on things changed. The editorial under reference deals with them in detail and portrays the present state of affairs. Everyone knows the present scenario prevailing in Muslim as well as non-Muslim institutions. One can read Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer's articles published in The Hindu and other leading dailies and periodicals to know the exact positions on this vital issue.
Once the late IAS officer Sulaiman saheb said in a meeting that in spite of a recommendation letter from a minister, his son could not get a seat in a college in Chennai and fortunately the door of the New College was open to him and he was admitted there. The founding fathers of our institutions were of the opinion that no Muslim boy or girl should be denied admission because of his or her inability to pay the fees. But the present situation seems to be altogether different.
Thanks to the rigid attitude of some Muslim institutions, Muslims have started changing their mindset and admitting their children in those non-Muslim institutions where not only fees are reasonable but educational standard is also good. It is a well known fact that Muslim students are coming out in flying colours mostly in non-Muslim institutions. It is a good sign for our secular and plural society. The records of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Graduates Association are a testimony to it.
It is heartening to know that two Muslim girl students having Tamil as First Language have secured 3rd rank in the Tamil Nadu State Higher Secondary Examinations - March 2009 and the Chief Minister Dr. Kalaigner M. Karunanidhi has awarded them. Their details are given below:
1) Jazima Sulaiha S : Register No.124604: Marks secured : Language 196, English 187, Physics 198, Chemistry 200, Biology 200, Mathematics 200 Total 1181 for 1200. Amali G Higher Secondary School, Irudayakulam, Cheranmahadevi.
2) Meera Rasiba M: Register No. 370779 : Marks secured : Language 194, English 191, Physics 199, Chemistry 198, Biology 200, Mathematics 199 Total 1181 for 1200. SRV G Higher Secondary School, Rasipuram, Namakkal
The Muslim community is proud of the above two students and all other top rank holders. The schools where they studied are also praise worthy. Thanks and congratulations to them. Our Managements, teachers, parents and students should get inspiration from their excellent performance and create an "educational atmosphere" to enable our students to prove their mettle.
There are many Muslim and non-Muslim institutions which collect capitation fees and charge exorbitant special and tuition fees in contravention of the rules and regulations. It is not possible for all students to get admission in them paying these fees. Muslim students are the worst sufferers everywhere because of their economic and educational backwardness. The Omeiat Institute Trust has rendered a great noble service in helping 344 college students by giving scholarships to the tune of Rs.68 lakhs. If our institutions charge reasonable fees, it will be highly beneficial to the Muslim community. There are quite a large number of self respecting Muslim families who are not for getting any charity from anybody or any association.
There is an urgent need for educational institutions to fix reasonable fees. Frankly speaking one always wonders who are helping whom - the institutions to the students or the students to the institutions! The world is mysterious and honest people stand nowhere!!