Minority school presents plea to Tawde distancing itself from IRF.
Mumbai: The Islamic International School (IIS) on Tuesday presented a petition to state education minister Vinod Tawde asking the government to allow the school to continue with its educational activities. The school contended that the students shouldn’t have to suffer since its management was controlled by a separate educational trust and is separate from the now banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), headed by televangelist Dr Zakir Naik.
The school located in Mazgaon holds classes from nursery to class X and has 167 students. It is affiliated with the IGCSE and has a staff strength of 120 teachers. In addition to the regular academic curriculum, the students there are also taught Quranic texts and Arabic.
“We combine Madarasa education with academics and many parents like the fact that their children, in addition to learning normal subjects, also gain knowledge about the religion. But since the ban on IRF, everybody is worried. Our accounts have been frozen and I have had to pay from my pocket to manage daily expenses,” said Imran Qureshi, the principal of the school.
Mr Qureshi, along with staff members and some parents, met Mr Tawde and submitted a 15-page petition containing the signatures of over 200 people, including the parents.
“We told the minister that we are very happy with the kind of education imparted in the school and did not want a change in the management,” said Mustafa, who has three of his children studying in the school. He added that the parents were worried that a change in ownership would take away the core idea behind the school. “It is important for us that our children learn about our religion, but that does not mean they should not get education. This school fulfils both the criteria,” he said.
The petition, too, states the same points and says, “By changing the ownership of the school... the school will lose its identity and purpose and there are high chances that parents will no longer see it as the place they originally envisioned for their children. Resultantly, an esteemed educational institution will die an unnatural death,” it states.