Aisha Amin: An Eminent Educationist

An accomplished educationist, and a fearless orator who championed the cause of social justice and women emancipation
She played instrumental role in education of weaker sections of the society. Her nucleus of life was concern for others.
She played instrumental role in education of weaker sections of the society. Her nucleus of life was concern for others. Special arrangement

Pen in hand, I pause and reflect; how shall I write an obituary for Madam Aisha Amin (March 03,1935-May 13, 2023), an eminent educationist and a great teacher. While scrolling through the condolence messages posted on social media, Aisha Amin is remembered as straightforward, positive, accomplished educationist; bold, fearless, and a fiery orator who championed the cause of social justice and women emancipation. She was not someone to be dictated or be intimidated; she had her own mind and her own style of dealing with the crisis situations.

As an able administrator she took bold decisions for putting the school education department on a growth trajectory. She was a very strong lady and a fighter who braved many odds in life. She played instrumental role in education of weaker sections of the society. Her nucleus of life was concern for others.

She treated her subordinates as one family. She observed the behavior of subordinates with a microscopic vision. She could sense their problems; once her subordinate was rude in his behavior, he displayed frequent emotional outbursts.

After office hours Madam Aisha talked to him like an elder sister. The man had some domestic issues and the marriage was on the verge of divorce. Madam Aisha Amin intervened and helped the couple to remove misunderstanding and live happily.  

Madam Aisha Amin had the ingredients of gratitude deeply embedded in her DNA. She was a power house of passion for multifarious activities, always full of energy to do things, helping poor and needy. She was not just a teacher, but a mentor, a friend, and a guide who had a profound impact on her students’ lives.

Her dedication to teaching, her passion for social justice, and her commitment to her students’ success made her an exceptional educator. She never followed the crowd when others were doing so.

Once a preliminary enquiry committee recommended that a particular student should be struck off from the rolls for her severe delinquent acts. As Chief Education Officer (CEO)  she did not act in haste, prepared a detailed case study of that girl, and personally visited her family.

She discovered it was parental dispute which had pushed the girl into such weird behavior. She took the delinquency of that girl as a symptom of a curable disease and ensured her retention in school after proper guidance and counseling.         

She envisioned teachers as counselors and mental health facilitators. She was a strict disciplinarian and never took decisions on face value of things. Her office had a wall hanging which was gifted to her by Late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.

This wall hanging reflected the quote “Righteousness is the Ornament of Knowledge”. Once some admission related discrepancies were noticed in the selection list of elementary teachers training list. An enquiry committee was constituted to fix the responsibility.

The Enquiry Committee recorded the statements and recommended that the two teachers be barred from taking admission related assignments and their annual increments be withdrawn. The teachers appealed for reviewing the recommendations of the enquiry committee. Madam Aisha Amin was appointed  as the chairman of the review committee.

Under principle of natural justice she provided reasonable opportunity to teachers of being heard.  She did not frame her opinion just on the basis of mere statements.

On digging the records she found that one of the penalized teachers had worked very hard in locating and rectifying the discrepancies in the selection list despite the fact his wife was hospitalized during the said period.

Some disgruntled and mischievous elements within the system had manipulated the admission records for their vested interests. Same mischievous elements had recorded their statements before the previous committee which was recorded authentic without any solid proof or further investigation.

She deeply reflected on each paper beyond office hours. During cross examining the records she told her section officer  Mr Nazir  that sometimes  minor rethinking  as chairman enquiry committee  can save the career of these teachers.

After writing a detailed review enquiry report of 50 pages in her own handwriting substantiated by valid documents she pleaded innocence of the two teachers and proved that the discrepancies have been planted to retard the career mobility of the teachers.

During this investigation one of the penalized teachers had a heated argument with her but it did not affect her decision which was rooted in fairness and impartiality.

At the conclusion of the committee  she narrated a very important verse from the Holy Quran’s  Surah Hujurat (49:6)  “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.” She narrated me this case study when I used to take home tuitions of her grandson Khawar Jamsheed to whom she was deeply attached.

She was lovingly remembered as Ami by all the family members. On daily visit to her residence I found her every time engrossed in reading Quran and offering prayers. She was a God fearing and upright lady.

At the domestic front she was a great mother and grandmother. I shall narrate one incident. Due to some personal compulsions I discontinued taking home tuitions of Khawar.

After few days Madam Aisha Amin dropped at my ancestral home at Rehbab Sahib   Ali Kadal and requested me to continue the home tuitions of Khawar.  I agreed as a mark of respect and love for her as she treated me as her own child. She had a rich collection of rare books. She donated a significant part of it to SPS library Lal Mandi.

She was deeply missing her son Mr Hilal Amin who perhaps lived in Canada. Loss of her beloved son Mr Bilal Amin was a big loss to her; she was deeply attached to her. She was a visionary mother-in –law who encouraged her daughter-in –law   to start business after her retirement.

Her granddaughter, in 9th class needed some reference book which was out of print. Her grandmother personally visited all the shops and arranged the same from Yaseen Book Depot which was near LD hospital.

She was the best version of a grandmother. I observed she had unpunctuated faith in her grandson Khawar and defended him when others chose to be mute spectators. I have observed that whenever any needy knocked her door he/she never went away disappointed. During my last interaction with her she wished to offer prayers at Shahi Masjid (Pather Masjid) Zaina Kadal.

I hope that her legacy continues to inspire future generations of students, and that her gravitational impact will be felt for years to come. To conclude, May Almighty Allah place the blessed soul of Madam Aisha Amin in evergreen gardens of paradise. Ameen

Dr Showkat Rashid Wani, Senior Coordinator, Directorate of Distance Education, University of Kashmir

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.

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