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School registration suspended after it punished student for speaking in Urdu

By Shazia Hasan 2023-01-31
KARACHI: The Directorate of Inspection/ Registration of Private Schools Sindh on Monday suspended the registration of a private school for humiliating its student for speaking in national language Urdu.

The issue came to light after the child`s father came to pick him up from school and saw his son`s face with a blackening mark on his cheek on Friday (January 27), the last day of the week.

Ten-year-old Moosa Atif, a student of class five at the Civilizations Public School, a private English-medium school situated in Block-J of North Nazimabad, had been found talking in Urdu by his teacher Sadaf Mateen to be then taken to task by her. She drew a black ink mark on the boy`s face and told the other students to laugh at him.

Finding his son distraught, Atif Pervaiz, the father, tried complaining to the school management but to no avail. He said that he was disal-lowed to speak to the school management at the time so he took to social media. He recorded a small video of his son with his face blackened and of the school where he was humiliated. He could only include a clip of the school`s car parking as he was not permitted to go beyond it.

Then he posted it on YouTube the very next day.

Taking notice of the incident, Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah ordered an inquiry to look into the matter. After completion of the inquiry, and looking at the findings to the inquiry committee, the Directorate of Education issued the following statement: `The accusation of applying blackness on the face of student Moosa by his teacher is correct.

Indeed, the teacher in question punished the student for not speaking in English, which is quite in contradiction of the feeling of patriotism and love for the national language. The administration of the school failed to handle the situation or deal with the parents on their complaint properly.In view of this, the Directorate of Education suspended Civilizations Public School`s registration with immediate effect till further orders. A disciplinary fine amounting to Rs100,000 has also been imposed on the school. However, the school administration has accepted the resignation tendered by the teacher concerned after having issued her a show cause notice.

According to a statement issued by a member of the school`s board of directors, the Civilizations Public School takes great pride in being one the few educational institutions to promote, encourage and celebrate Urdu. Its role in promoting Urdu is unmatched in the country.

`In the last few years, the school has organised four mushairas and poets such as Iftikhar Arif, Fehmida Riaz and Amjad Islam Amjad have read their poetry to audiences in thousands which included students, faculty, staff, guests and members of the media. The coverage of these events is publicly available. Books by Urdu masters such as Mushtaq Yousufi, PatrasBukhari and Ibn-i-Insha comprise the entirety of our Urdu curriculum. Lines from Faiz, N.M.

Rashid and Majaaz often echo through the corridors and auditoriums.

`The School in no way promotes English over Urdu. The regrettable incident that took place on January 27 is against the school`s ethos, ideology, philosophy and spirit. We are a considerate and empathetic institution that does not condone or allow anyone to embarrass a student. You are welcome to come to our next Urdu event and witness the school`s culture.

`The teacher who took the wrong step is no longer part of the school and her resignation has been accepted.

`The faculty and staff are fully trained and socialised to embrace diversity and a multilingual environment.

`We hope to continue to produce the next generation of leadership and further our mission of celebrating our Urdu heritage,` the statement concluded.