SRINAGAR: Jamia-Tul-Banat, one of the biggest girl education institutes of the Jama’at-e-Islami, is becoming a model school among seminary schools in the Valley. The institute, one of scores run by the largest religio-political organisation of the state, is flowering again after hundreds of Jama’at schools were closed or burnt down during the past years.
The institute, which offers both modern and Islamic education, has not only bagged top positions but scored over 99% results since it first appeared in board exams. In the recent 12th class results, except the eighth position, the school held all the top ten slots in the arts stream. Out of 116 students who appeared in the exam, 107 scored distinction (above 370 marks), and seven got a first division (above 300 marks).
In 2012, when the school appeared for the first time in board exams, it bagged eight out of top ten positions, and secured 66 distinctions, 18 first divisions and 5 second divisions. Next year the school again bagged the top position. In 2014, students of the school fell just a few marks away from bagging the top slot, however it has persistently bagged five positions in the top ten, besides distinctions.
“On average only one or two students had to reappear in the board exams. The reason was not that they did not perform but that they fell ill on examination day. The student who failed in one subject this year fell unconscious in the examination center otherwise she had scored more than 350 marks. The result is an accomplishment. A student who has to qualify 10 subjects really has to work hard,” says Abdul Rashid Dar, chief administrator of the school.
Situated in Lal Bazar area of Srinagar, the institute, spread over 14 kanals of land, offers education to more than 500 girls, 10% of whom are given free education. Its curriculum includes Fazeelat degree, an equivalent to bachelors in arts degree, a dual degree in Aalemiyat, an Islamic course, and arts subjects. Aalemiyat students, besides studying five subjects of the course, have to clear five other arts subjects.
The institute started functioning in 1999 after a chain of Jama’at-run schools were burnt, or closed down by various governments. In fact, it was former National Conference patriarch Sheikh Abdullah who first gave orders to close down Jama’at run schools; then, in 1979, dozens of Jama’at schools were burnt after the hanging of Zulfkar Ali Bhutto. After these two incidents, the Jama’at formed independent trusts to keep the schools running. Jama’at controls the Banat through a two-tier system. The autonomous trust formulates the policy for the institute while its administration implements it.
“Our school is preferred by parents who want to give their child Islamic as well as modern education. Banat offers them both. The aim of Banat is not to generate money but to please Allah through the service of humanity. The reason for the successes is that our staff members work with the intention of pleasing Allah. Teaching children for us is worship to Allah, like nimaz,” asserts Dar.
The school follows an Islamic code of conduct. It prohibits men, including employees of the school, from entering the institute building. Most students are housed in the hostel. Parents have to meet their children in cabins.
At the institute, it is mandatory for a student to offer prayers five times a day. Prayers are led by senior girl students at an assigned place. Friday sermons are also led by the students.
Aiman Jan, a recent class 12th topper of the institute, calls her school a ‘pedestal for making life better in this world and the hereafter’. “My school has shaped my past and present. It has taken me closer to Allah in the most beautiful way. I believe I was destined to be a student of the school,” she says.
Misbah Tajalli , another student of Banat who studied at Mallinson school till class 10, says Banat has inculcated Islam as well as modern education in her. “At Mallinson, I was only given modern education, but at Banat I was given both. It was literally a life-changing experience for me to study in the institute,” she says.