A Year-long Series on Education, Sponsored by The Aligarh Forum : - A Mirror on our Efforts, our Successes & our Shortcomings ; Stories of triumphs, tribulations and struggles of the Indian Muslims in improving their educational status, in illiteracy alleviation, and in their professional and social uplift.
By Zaidul Haque, Twocircles.net
Kolkata: Academic excellence with a religious atmosphere, this has been the mission of Al Ameen Mission, the pioneer Muslim ducational institution in West Bengal since 1987. Its main campus is situated at Khalatpur, Howrah district, at least 70 km from Kolkata.
Al-Ameen Mission has tried to achieve quality and excellence in the field of education following the principles of fairness, equity, equality and transparency with preferences to the poor and meritorious students. Al-Ameen defines its objectives as promoting quality education among the poor and backward class minorities of the society and developing the socio-economic condition of the Muslims.
Al-Ameen Mission Girls Campus at Khalatpur. [TCN Photo]
Every parent wants to send their children to school to get quality education, thorough knowledge, develop honesty, confidence and life long effective learning, with a passion to excel at home, school and in the society, and for Muslims an Islamic environment. This has been the philosophy of Al Ameen Mission, and the brain working behind its implementation is M. Nurul Islam, Founder Secretary of the Institution. M. Nurul Islam, who is a school teacher by profession, told TwooCircles.net that all my dreams have centralized around the Al Ameen Mission.
After the partition the cream of the society, elite Muslim settled in Bangladesh. Rest of the Muslim potentially lagged behind in education from that period due to poor condition as a whole. But gradually they revived their situation and tried to compete in the education field. In the eighties, a new renaissance was generated in West Bengal to develop the traditional education for the Muslim children. Al Ameen Mission started in the eighties has now become a big tree with many branches.
Side view of the Al-Ameen Campus at Khalatpur, Howrah. [TCN Photo]
Al Ameen Mission has bagged many awards for their excellent work in field of education field in West Bengal. They have been winners of The Telegraph School Award for Excellence in 2002 & 2009. The Mission has also been awarded The Telegraph School Award for the best academic performance in competitive examinations in the year 2004 and the Certificate of the Honour in the year 2005, 2006 & 2008. Begum Rokeya Puraskar of West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education was also added on their crown in 2010 for its contribution to the socio-academic upliftment of the minority community in West Bengal. Al-Ameen Mission’s student Mohammar Arif topped the Secondary Examination (Madhyamik) in 2007. Beside the formal education students of Al Ameen Mission achieve excellence in Joint Entrance Examination in Medical & Engineering every year. Now more than 3000 students in their Institution are accommodated in hostels, both girls and boys.
The Telegraph Award for Excellence in Academics(HS & Madhyamik) to Al-Ameen Mission. [Photo: The Telegraph]
Beginning of the Mission:
To spread Islamic education in Khalatpur village of Howrah district Khalatpur Junior High Madrasa started on February 21, 1976. Foundation stone of the Madrasah Building was laid on August 20, 1978. Local body decided to take government recognition form Government of West Bengal. Recognition came on January 1, 1982.
Al-Ameen Mission boys campus at Khalatpur, Howrah. [TCN Photo]
After getting the Government recognition, key person of that Madrasa and teacher M Nurul Islam took the initiative to teach modern education along with religious instructions in an Islamic environment. They formed another Institute `Institute of Islamic Culture’ on May 6, 1984. On January 1, 1987 the management of Institution of Islamic Culture decided to rename the Institution to `Al Ameen Mission’.
Founder Secretary Nurul Islam recalled the services of the first President of Khalatpur High Madrasa Shaikh Md. Hanif, Institute of Islamic Culture’s first President Dr Khondakar Golam Hafiz, First President of Al-Ameen Mission Dr. Moazzem Hossain. Nurul Islam aslo acknowledged Mr Nurul Haque, IAS, who given the mission his valuable advice and enrich the education system from the beginning of the Mission. Most of the contribution for the school was made by Chairman of the Mission and Pataka Group of Industries owner & Chairman of G D Charitable Society Mostak Hossain. Mission acknowledged the Director & Ex MP Mrinal Sen, Educationalist A K Jalaluddin, Industrialist Sajahan Biswas, M.A Rashid, Muhammad Ali, Haji Md Khalil and others who continue to help the Mission.
Girls students playing at Khalatpur Campus. [TCN Photo]
Schooling & Hostel: from past to present
The boys’ residential school started first. With a library & labs began education at Al-Ameen Mission in 1987. A Joint Entrance Coaching Centre started soon after, in 1999 it was renamed Al-Ameen Mission Study Circle.
Beside this they first reached Kolkata to open a city office cum students hostel in 1992. In this year they laid down foundation stone of a boy’s school building. Another boy’s building was also constructed in 1998. Al-Ameen Mission gets assistance from the Central Government. They got Rs 35-lakh donation from the Maulana Azad Education Foundation, New Delhi, for similar school for girls in 1999 and started girls section the next year with Class V-VII. Gradually they increased the number of Boys & Girls hostel inside the same premises but in separate campus.
Founder Secretary of the Al-Ameen Mission Nurul Islam told Twocircles that, the main campus of Mission, Al-Ameen Mission for Boys, is located at Khalatpur, Howrah. It comprises about 45 bighas of land. It consists of a five-storey boys' hostel building, a three-storey school building and a three-storey administrative building with a guest house and health centre. There is a mosque inside the hostel building. It now has about 1336 students, with a residential staff of 200, and a part-time and non-residential staff of 50. These residential schools cater to students from class V to class XII, with separate facilities for girls & boys. Nearly 1500 students are staying and studying in the main campus at Khalatpur.
Another 18 residential campuses of Al-Ameen Mission are located in the towns & remote areas in 12 districts of West Bengal. But not all are able to accommodate both boys & girls. The campus are in: Belpukur in South Dinajpur, Patharchapri in Birbhum, Panchur in Metiaburuj of Kolkata, Malda, Dhuliyan in Murshidabad, Midnapour, Hasnecha in South 24 Parganas, Memari in Burdwan and Rampurhat in Birbhum. Total number of students in all these campuses are more than 5000, said Al-Ameen Mission Secretary.
M Nurul Islam, Founder Secretary of Al-Ameen Mission.
Al-Ameen Mission follows curriculum of West Board of Secondary Education for secondary section & West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education for Senior Secondary. They also have a section for High Madrasa Examination (Secondary).
Al-Ameen Mission also spread its branches at the primary level. They introduced so many school named under the `Al-Ameen Mission Academy’ in several districts of West Bengal with hostel accommodation. Their aim is to acquire poor meritorious Muslim Students under one umbrella. If Mission could provide quality teaching then, meritorious but poor students will get required resources required for their success. Mission always gives more importance to the poor, but meritorious students, Mr Islam said.
Al-Ameen Campus at Khalatpur, Howrah. [TCN Photo]
Performance in Education:
The best achievement in the education field of Al-Ameen Mission was when their student Muhammed Arif, topped the Madhyamik (secondary) examination in 2007. He scored 99.4 percent marks to top the list.
361 sudents appeared in the Madhyamik (Secondary Examination) in 2011. Among them 100 students scored above 85% and 293 students scored above 75%. In Higher secondary examination appeared 625, out of which 428 students scored above 75%, 257 students greater than 80% and 8 scored more than 90%.
Not only formal education, students of Al-Ameen Mission also making their mark in Medical & Engineering Entrance Examination in West Bengal. Last five years more 1365 students have qualified in WBJEE. The number of successful Al-Ameen students increases every year. Whereas in 2007 only 68 Muslims qualified in medical entrance, in 2011 that number jumped to 132. In Engineering qualified students were 198. But in 2011 that number is 237. Al-Ameen’s best rank in WBJJE in Medical last year was 12 and 132 in Engineering. In 2008 a student was ranked 8th in medical and another students get rank 12th in 2010.
Coaching of professional Courses:
Al-Ameen Mission provides professional coaching through Al-Ameen Mission Study Circles. Al-Ameen Mission Study Cirlces conducts coaching for all the professional entrance exams like Medical, Engineering, West Bengal Civil Services etc. They also conduct free coaching for School Service Commission & Madrasa Service Commission Exams. They have been envisaged upon by the West Bengal Minorities Development & Finance Corporation the responsibility of conducting free coaching in the districts of Kolkata, Birbhum and Malda. Study Circle provides the coaching with modern facilities & using latest technology of audio-visual.
Al-Ameen Mission Girls student at Khalatpur. [TCN Photo]
Future Plan & Vision:
Vision 2020, the target of the Al-Ameen Mission is inspired by Industrialist Mostak Hossain. Secretary of Al-Ameen Mission hopes, within 2020 they will cross the number of students to 40 thousand. Al-Ameen Mission will open an institution on their Rajarhat-Newtown, Kolkata campus as `Centre of Excellence for Higher Studies and Research’, where coaching will be given for Medical, Engg, IIT, IIM and many post-graduate courses and also research of comparative religion. The land of Al-Ameen Mission at Rajarhat Campus was allocated by previous Left Front Govt for nearly Rs 3 cr.
Their second aim to make a charitable organisation `Al-Ameen Mission Medical research Centre’ where poor to rich all people will get equal health-care services.
It is the dream of Nurul Islam, Secretary of Al-Ameen Mission to make a world class university in the name of Holy Prophet- `Al-Ameen University’
More than 25 percent of students that are poor but meritorious are studying here absolutely free. 35% pay half the fee and only 40% for financially sound students. More than 15000 students take part in the admission test, said Nurul islam.
Al-Ameen Mission Trust introduced Scholarship with the support of some social, charitable & business organization. M Nurul Islam told TCN that Mission already enjoying exemption under section 80G of I.T. Act. So, kind hearted Muslims are coming forward to help us. Though that is not enough, he added.
Celebrated 25 years:
Al-Ameen Mission celebrated its Silver Jubilee on January 28-29th, 2012 at its main campus in Khalatpur of Howrah district. State Minister of Urban Development & Municipal Affairs Mr Firhad Hakim, Vice Chancellor of Aliah University Dr Syed Shamsul Alam, Libya-based businessman Er. Akbar Hossain, Chairman of State Madarsa Service Commission Professor Abdur Rauf, State Bar Council Secretary Ansar Ali Mondal, Prof Habibur Rahman of Islamic University at Kustia, Bangladesh were also present at the ceremony and delivered their speech.
Secretary of Al-Ameen Mission can be contacted at this number no: 9433011730