Chennai, India — “We have come here to be instructed and inspired,” said the convener Ovias Siraj, as he opened the first Milky Way Education Summit 2014.
“The Milky Way represents our thirst to find our place in the galaxy of stars, and that our Lord wants us to look up above towards the skies, the sun, the moon. Let our heads be held high,” quoted Dawood Vaid, the head of Burooj Realization, the organization that designed the entire summit.
That sense of “heaven’s help” permeated Saturday’s sessions as speakers shared poignant personal reflections that matched timeless truths to present-day challenges.
Over 500 School Leaders, Management and Principals gathered for the one day education conference that aimed at sharing the best practices, encourage the judicious use of technology and focused on making schools more professional.
The conference partnered with Professional couriers as well as key schools of Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad attracted diverse Muslim educators at the prestigious New College, Royapettah, Chennai.
Learning from “Womb” to “Tomb” by Dawood Vaid, set the stage for the day emphasizing the importance of “Learning” through this journey of life. It concluded with a resounding Burooj’s idiom, “In this journey of life there are WINNERS and LEARNERS”.
In his key note address, Syed Sultan conveyed the pertinent message that institutions are not built by people but by systems and processes. Sultan the head of EduMedia, Bangalore addressing a Muslim educator’s conference for the first time in 14 years, spoke with great enthusiasm about the need to inculcate life skills. He highlighted that before the Prophethood, the people knew Al-Ameen the truthful, which is but an example of a great life skill. The audience lapped every word.
In the afternoon plenary, a panel representing a diversity of education domain made some summary remarks from role of Parents to empowering the teachers. Mr. Tanveer Syed of the Islamic Montessori said they refer to their teachers as ‘Murabbi’ thus elevating their status while Mr. Jafar Ali VP, Dubai Islamic Bank stressed the need of proper finance controls to manage our institutions.
Sahil Sayed, an ex-Accenture and current Science researcher spoke about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). His personal teaching experiences with grade one zapped the participants and so did his science trick with balloons and bottles. “Science can be interesting”, he said.
Funding is always an exercise in schools and what better way to bring about the cheers than with a School Budget presentation game. “Calculating money was never so fun”, cried the audience. Danish Aga, VP, JP Morgan, spoke about how schools tend to hide with major budget issue citing overheads as an excuse. Funds for School or School for funds, was an apt title for an amazing insight into a school monetary issues which Danish took with elan of a professional banker and an educationist.
At the end, the message to schools was loud and clear. Work together was the final message of FAME (Federation of Association of Muslim Educators), “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together…collaboration.” A teacher Sister Arstiya Ahmed, Al Hira Model School, Chennai summed up the summit as, “I learn my most important role as a teacher: I touch lives.” Milky Way did.