Learning and experience at secondary school stage is totally different from that of middle school. Each day is remarkable and memorable. Some students like me, who have experienced unforgettable moments during their secondary school time, always crave to share their memories. Though in those days we didn’t care much about our studies, yet as we grew up, we realised what our parents often used to say; ‘One day you’ll realise how much you’ll miss your school days’. Believe me, my secondary school time was the ‘Golden Era’ of my life. A path filled with excitement, fortitude and downfalls. Getting transformed into an individual that no one could ever envision is something incredible!
On June 27, this year, when I stepped into the premises of Govt. Hr. Sec. School, Dangiwacha (Rafiabad), to attend a 2 day workshop by DIET, Sopore on Vidya Pravesh (Entrance to Knowledge), I was awestruck to see things changed in this institution. An altogether different and wonderful campus.
I fondly recall my 1st day at this Hr. Sec. School when I went to seek admission in class 9th. There is a hell of difference between the set-up and infra, now and then. The memories of that old Hr. Sec. School are still vivid - an L-shaped building with long wooden fenced veranda. The yellow anterior wall of which had photos of great personalities like Sir Syed, Tagore, Iqbal, and Nehru. There were also tin-placards fixed to the wooden pillars displaying meaningful quotes. Poplar trees surrounded the fenceless premises. Besides some apple and mulberry trees in the lawn, there was girls’ rest-room erected on cement pillars, under a Bouyn (Chinar tree). It had a stair to go up with worn-out exterior. Though that Chinar is still there, everything else has changed.
In my 9th and 10th class days, ragging was in vogue at GHSS, Dangiwacha. We really would enjoy juniors being ragged by seniors under those poplar trees. Those days, students had a great threat of Khitayee Sahib (Ghulam Rasool Khitayee, Lecturer Arabic, from Sopore) who used to rebuke them harshly. I am talking about Mtr. Atiqa Bano Zargar’s tenure as patron. Mr. Khitayee was a prominent teacher whose name resonated in the whole higher secondary. No sooner he would emerge than the students fled the scene of ragging. And as far my teachers’ memories in 9th &10th, there are some unforgettable names, the ones who shaped our future. Master Saif-ud-Din Shah taught us Urdu, Indleeb Mehraj Kirmani taught Bioscience. English was taught by Nazir Ahmad Naaz, Physics & Chemistry by Syed Hilal Ahmed Byhaqi, Maths by Farooq Ahmad Sheikh and History was taught by Master Paramjit Singh. Honestly, they have much to do with whatever I have achieved in my life till today.
After passing my 10th standard in 2001, I had to seek my admission in GHSS Boys, B’la in Medical stream. That year, Abdul Rasheed Faktoo was Principal of this higher secondary. He would quite often come to our class for inspection. He was very strict and had a remarkable fluency in English. I haven’t forgotten his oft-said lines, ‘I am not an angel. Why do you fear me?’ Who can forget Gashroo Sahib and Ganai Sahib? Both taught us English, so dedicatedly. Then in 2002, I had to migrate back to GHSS, Dangiwacha on my parents’ insistence. In that year, I was in 12th standard. Mr. Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Sopore was the Head of the Institution. I would naturally get inclined towards English teachers, though there used to be others around as well. Perhaps, due to my love for the subject. I especially recall Mohammad Sadiq Beigh (Physics), Bashir Ahmad Masoodi (Chemistry), Baseerat Ma’am, Nafeesa Madam, Hassan Jahangir and Farooq Ahmad Bhat. They all were sincere, dedicated and would boost students’ morale, always.
Nowadays when students are seen bunking their classes, and loitering unnecessarily in parks and markets, I am shocked. This stage is the most crucial phase, where students should spend time in their institutions.
The author teaches English at Govt. Middle School, Shangergund
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.