"Are there any problems which you want to raise with me? I haven't got much time, what I mean I'd rather hear what your problems are than make any form of address. Is there anyone who wants to raise any particular problem?......Pause......Are there no problems that you wish to discuss at this stage?'

Miss Merchant, Head Mistress, Girls' Sec. School: "Your Highness, the main problem is about the shift system"? "Yes I have heard about the problem of the shift but this is really a building problem more than an educational problem and we have yet to find an answer to it." "I did want, however, to recommend that in our schools we should keep in mind a principle which I think has been largely responsible in the developed world particularly in the United States for the progress which they have made in education which is that they conceive of the teachers being those, who require the most pushing, rather than the students. What I mean by this is that, the teachers are kept under constant pressure through their own initiative and through the demands and requirements of the teaching institutions, to improve their lectures, to carry out further research of subjects which are of importance to the students; this is the concept which I would very much like to see implemented in our schools. If there are teachers who wish to go to foreign training institutions, in order to carry out a year or two years of post graduate studies, but will then undertake to come back to our schools; then I would like to assure you of my full support for this programme. However, I want to emphasise that we can not send teachers abroad for higher studies, if they do not come back to serve our institutions afterwards. Now I see that there is a very high majority of women here and I presume that sooner or later most women teachers will get married, but this isn't a good enough reason for giving up teaching. And I hope, therefore, that those of you who do go abroad and who wish to go abroad for further studies, even though may get married in Karachi or in other parts of Pakistan, that you will at least continue your teaching careers, so that the children and the institutions, which have supported your foreign studies will benefit from what you have learnt, when you come back to Pakistan. I hope also that gradually we will be able to push up the results, so that we do not aim only at a hundred percent. This is a fine goal but I would like to see a real elite coming out of our schools. This means that we need to have a hundred per cent pass in first grade. Now this is a very ambitious target and I do not believe that it can be achieved in toto. But I think that we must keep in mind that these schools are meant to create an elite, to develop your children in such a way that they can go on through their secondary and university education, and thereafter enter the best universities in the world. This was the goal in building these new buildings and in trying to put together a core of teachers who really can produce outstanding students. I take this occasion to tell you how happy I have been with the results you have achieved so far. and I congratulate you warmly and I thank you on behalf of the Jamat and on my own behalf."

Source: Ismaili Mirror.

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