Jamia to fete girl students admitted in male bastion

New Delhi: A batch of about 15 girl students, who have made history by taking admission in an institution which has for the last 300 years been a male bastion, will be felicitated by Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung Friday.

The Anglo Arabic School has made history by admitting girls for the first time in its over 300 year existence. Having started off as Madrasa Ghaziuddin around 1692, the school had remained an all-boys school thus far.

The school in the capital’s Ajmeri Gate area has produced the likes of Liaqat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of Aligarh Muslim University, J.N. Dixit, former national security adviser and foreign secretary, among many other luminaries.

In a significant move, the managing committee of the school, in a meeting held on March 26, decided to open its doors to girls. However, this decision was not considered favourably by the staff of the school, which is predominantly male, and it seemed at the time that this decision would not be implemented.

However, a PIL filed by an M.Phil. student of JNU, Fatima Alvi, was considered favourably by the Delhi High Court recently and the school as also the Directorate of Education, Delhi government, and police were directed to ensure that this decision be implemented.

Following the high court order, the school management swung into action and has so far admitted over 15 girls in Classes 6 to 11. The number is expected to increase in the comings days. Mehvish Rehmani, Darakshan Fatima and Gulafshan Fatima were the first applicants to secure admissions in the institution in Classes 11 (Commerce with Maths) and Class 7 respectively.

Azra Razzak at Jamia Millia Islamia, who is also secretary, Delhi Education Society, under the aegis of which the school runs, said: “We are expecting more girl students in the coming days. At present, we have three women teachers in the 80-member strong faculty. We are planning to recruit more.”

Atyab Siddiqui, honorary manager, said that former president A P J Abdul Kalam’s visit was especially encouraging when he asked the school to consider admitting girls too. Jung, who is also chairman of the school and president of the Delhi Education Society, will be felicitating these young students at a get-together on June 1 at 4 p.m. in Yasser Arafat Hall of the university.

Jung has been a votary of women’s reservation in parliament as well. (IANS)

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