NASEEM MERCHANT is
an educationist, apart from her own education institute for the elite
class kids from 9 to 14 years, she is known as the best consultant for
setting up a good educational institute whether that belongs to local
educational board or the convent system. Whenever wherever a good
educational institute is being set up Naseem Merchant is discussed and
contacted. Naseem Merchant has a dynamic, enthusiastic and
straightforward, honest, sincere and result-oriented personality. She
was born to a humble family of Mr. Ramzan Merchant who rose his zenith
in his business and was known as great man in his community. Attaining
her primary and secondary education from St. Joseph Convent School
Karachi, and than St. Joseph College for women; she took up science as a
major subject to become an architect/engineer, and took courses such as
higher mathematics and physics. She was always musically inclined and
learnt to play the Sitar and Tabla at her young age under the guidance
of the late Ustad Shabbir Hussain. Her dream of becoming an
architect/engineer was shattered because of an acute case of
appendicitis just three days before final intermediate examinations.
That changed her course of education and she went on to do Bachelor of
Arts in English Literature, History and Political Science. She has two
wonderful sons, Mr. Hasnain Fancy, a banker with a multinational bank
and Mr. Iran who is a Marketing Analyst. Naseem Merchant is very
sensitive about unprivileged people and students.
She goes down to earth whenever there is a
matter of unprivileged people and matter of principles.
How did you come in education field?
NASEEM MERCHANT: I
never thought about education field during my own education from school
and college but due to sudden illness, I had to change the educational
subjects, later a dear friend of mine who was teaching at a very
renowned institution in Karachi was going on a hiatus to the United
Kingdom to visit her children. She requested me a substitute for a
four-month term. I had no experience and I was hesitant to take up the
offer but because of the constant insistence of the friend I succumbed.
After two weeks of intense guidance by the friend, I joined the school
not knowing that it would change the course of my life. On the return of
my friend from England, I happily said good bye to my colleagues but the
headmistress who was so impressed by my teaching skills control, offered
me a permanent position at school. After giving it a good thought, I
joined and never looked back.
How do you see education system in Pakistan?
NASEEM MERCHANT: I
see a horrible future. Many people would not agree with me but this is
the fact on the ground.
Would you please tell us in detail?
NASEEM MERCHANT: This
is a truth that every country's future depends on the education and
grooming of youths. Here we have education only for the elite class.
While middle class and lower class is virtually growing without actual
education. Well I am not referring to the numbers and figures of
students, literacy rate on government papers. Even dangerous situation
is this that even elite class youth are getting good academic education
but neither are they being groomed as a good citizens in educational
institutions nor being by the parents. There are number of things which
only could be taught in the educational institutions. Parents think that
they have completed their responsibilities by sending their kids in
expensive and status symbolic school and colleges.
What about education standard in private sector?
NASEEM MERCHANT: Apart
from government's education system, there is an alarming decline of
education standard in private sector. A mushroom growth of Cambridge
system schools is not as perfect as they should have been. This has
become a money minting business. There is no dedication, no ethics, and
even no moral responsibilities among the operators of private schools.
do you think is the most important and factor to be focused on?
NASEEM MERCHANT: We
need to identify the dedicated teachers and should be given proper
training. If it is not done at the government level it should be done in
private sector because private sector has become larger than the
educational institutions, what changes you think are must?
NASEEM MERCHANT: Grooming
of personality stands on top of all priorities. Whatever the subjects
are but manners and discipline should be the top part of the education.
At present there is a chaos in this regard. If educational institutions
are not producing well groomed students how can we expect good future of
the nation? Especially the education of girls, I am sorry we are not
producing good mother of the future who will have to groom next
do you teach?
NASEEM MERCHANT: Well,
I do not only teach the language and subjects. I teach the students from
the age of 9 to 14 years or so. I am strict in principles, values,
manners, and civilization etc. the age of the students I teach is the
most important part of every human being, if a student is well groomed
in this age it makes a radical change in the future of students.
NASEEM MERCHANT: Hypocrisy,
and lying these are the worst sickness of human being and I try to
remove from my students.