Mama School Karachi
People build institutions and then it is the other way around. The Mama Parsi Girls’ School, which turned 95 on Monday, has earned a reputation for building several thousand lives.
The classrooms of the 18th century sandstone building has nurtured the likes of Ferishtay Aslam, the head of corporate affairs Unilever; Nabeela, the hairstylist; and Sameera Raja, the sole proprietor of the Canvas Gallery.
In its corridors, students of all social classes have walked hand in hand dressed in the same uniforms – right down to their hairbands and socks.That was one “eccentricity” that Mrs Shigri, who has served the school for 33 years, noted on her first day there.
“The girls looked exactly the same. Even their hairbands were the same colour: black, plain plastic.”Over the years she saw the school grow. “An O-level section opened. Last year, we became affiliated with the Aga Khan University Examination Board.”
The school works in two shifts – morning and afternoon – and educates about 2,127 girls.It is not that the journey has been easy. A teacher recalls how politicians pressured the school to admit their children. “A famous politician belonging to the city’s largest party once forced former principal Zarin T Mavalvala to give admission to his daughters. When she refused, the school began receiving excessive electricity bills, but Mavalvala did not succumb to the pressure,” she said.
A former teacher of the school claims that there were times when the Board of Secondary Education Karachi refused to give Mamaians positions despite them scoring the highest marks.
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