Indian community honors top educator in Jubail

International Indian School-Jubail Principal Dr. Syed Hameed, seated fifth from left, with guests and organizers at his felicitation in Jubail recently.

International Indian School-Jubail Principal Dr. Syed Hameed, seated fifth from left, with guests and organizers at his felicitation in Jubail recently.

The Indian community in Jubail recently organized a reception to honor the principal of the International Indian School-Jubail for getting the best teacher award from the Indian government.

Leading members of the community were present at the Intercontinental Jubail to praise Dr. Syed Hameed. Speakers at the event underscored Hameed’s humility that has earned him immense respect from students, teachers and the parent community.

The Indian government gave him the award to recognize his 37 years of service. “He has been selected for the coveted award after rigorous scrutiny by the government of India,” said an official statement from the Human Resources Development Ministry before it was conferred on him in Delhi. The ceremony was broadcast live from Delhi and his students and well-wishers watched it in Jubail.

“It was great to see him receive the award from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee,” said Waheed Lateef, the architect of the celebrations. “Your chest swells with pride when someone deserving gets the highest honor,” he told Arab News.

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Mohammed Taher Mohiuddin, a leading academic and chairman of the school managing committee, said the honoring of Hameed was also recognition of the Jubail school and the entire community.

In an interesting question-and-answer session conducted by community member Aziz Ahmad Siddiqui, Hameed regaled the attendees with interesting anecdotes. “When the best teacher award was first announced, I received many calls but many of them said, ‘Is that really you, because you are a principal not a teacher.’ I told them a principal is first and foremost a teacher,” he said laughing.

He said he is at the gate of the school every morning with his dedicated team of teachers when parents and drivers drop their children off. “Why do I do that? Because I want to reassure parents that their children are in safe hands. The parents trust us and place their children in our care, so it is our duty as teachers to take the best possible care of them,” he said.

Asked for the reasons for the popularity of some teachers among students, he said: “Schools are not meant to stress children. When you go into a class, you should try to crack a joke or share something light to make the students comfortable. Unless and until a teacher is able to connect with his or her students, the purpose of education will not be fulfilled. The idea is to communicate, and communication can only take place when the atmosphere is stress-free and non-intrusive.”

International Indian School-Dammam Principal E.K. Mohammed Shafee, himself an award winner, praised Hameed for his achievements. “He is widely admired in CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the stature of Indian schools in the Kingdom has gone up because of his immense contacts in the board. This is largely due to Hameed’s excellent relationship and work in CBE schools across the length and breadth of the country.”

Sixty-year-old Hameed is a native of Hyderabad, India. Ever since he took the reins at the Jubail school a couple of years ago, he has inculcated a spirit of seeking merit and excellence among teachers and students. In addition, he is a motivational speaker and has delivered many talks at local and international events. He also introduced media studies for students at the Jubail school.

Well-known Toastmasters Safare Mohammed conducted the event with panache and Periyanayaham introduced Hameed in a delightful way.

Prominent among those who spoke and attended the celebrations were Lt. Col. J.A. Rocque, Nishad Abdul Khader, Viral Shah, Dr. Ahmad Khan, Syed Zakaullah Masood, Ateeq-ur-Rahman, Nasiruddin Ansari, Buddaraju Satyanarayana Raju, Nasim Ahmad, Zakir Mastan, Mohammed Abdul Naseer, Meraj A. Ansari, Anis Bakhsh, Naushad Ali, V.C.S. Nair, Venkatesan Devarajan, Saleem Khan, Mohammed Abdul Haleem, G.S. Bhaskar Rao, Sneha Suresh, Asif Ali Siddiqui, Dasari Bhikshapathy and Abdullah Khalili.

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