Mumbai: A school in Malad’s Malvani slum has a good reason to rejoice: for the first time, it has a 90.42 per cent overall pass percentage. About 99% of its students hail from the Muslim community. Among these, Samreen Ansari secured 92.20 per cent, while there are seven distinction holders. Most of the students have a financially poor background; this is the second reason for Principal of Elia Sarvat English High School, Tarannum Ahmed, to be proud of.
“Most of the students come from broken homes and are first generation learners. It makes me happy and extremely proud to have them. Most of their parents are mostly rickshaw-pullers and carpenters who have meagre incomes. These students shone even in such trying times,” Ahmed beams. Samreen, the school topper who wants to be a businesswoman, is elated to have secured the desired percentage. Many students like her face severe limitations at home, as parents use the space for their daily occupation. So, the children are forced to study during the night. Said Samreen, “I would study on the mezzanine floor at night, which my father uses during the day time for dying clothes. I like Commerce field and fancy myself as a businesswoman one day.”
These children cannot afford teaching academies or coaching classes but school teachers have played a significant role in their accomplishment. Maths and Science school teacher Rafiq used to give them special tuitions after school hours. He said, “Samreen has always been focussed on her studies. She is one of our all-rounder students. It makes me really proud.” Afzal Ansari is extremely happy to have secured 83 per cent. His father sells bread for a living and his family was delighted to learn about his score. He is interested in pursuing the Science stream and has high dreams. “I want to become a doctor,” shared Afzal. “I have no words to express my happiness. I’m extremely proud of my son,” says Abdul Gaffar, his elated father. Apart from Samreen and Afzal, Shaikh Sakina secured 85.40 per cent and Manihar Gufran secured 85.20 per cent.