NASEEM MERCHANT
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By AZAM ALI
Dec 06 - 12, 2004
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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.

PAGE: 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.

PAGE: 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.

 

 

PAGE: 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.

PAGE: 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.

PAGE: What 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 government sector.

PAGE: In 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 generation.

PAGE: How 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.

PAGE: What irritates you?

NASEEM MERCHANT: Hypocrisy, and lying these are the worst sickness of human being and I try to remove from my students.